Fire Emblem Catch All

The reclassing in general seems weird. Like, you can normally just promote straight into a new master class at level 10, but those often aren't always the best choices for your characters, so instead.....you just stick an Emblem on them for an uncertain amount of time until they learn a proficiency, or just burn a bunch of the gems or whatever on level them with an Emblem really fast, which precludes spending them on other things, like the rings (unless you grind a lot). And the Emblems you may want them to learn proficiencies from might not make a lot of sense for their current character build, and it means someone else can't use those Emblems either. So there's experimentation, but not really all that much and not all that handy unless you fully understand the systems. Great for min-maxers I suppose, and the people who will want to play multiple times.

I think I prefer either the GBA era ones promotions where each class promotes into one or two things and that's it, or just opening it all the way up to customization like in Three Houses. This one is just kind of awkward.

Honestly, I need to get back to Three Houses anyway and do my Blue Lions run, since I did the other two houses when it came back and keep wanting to get back to it.

Permadeath in Engage is entirely borked by the generous turn-rewinds.

I'm playing on Hard, I've only lost one character so far (I'm somewhere around Stage 12), and that was only because I hadn't figured out the rewind mechanic yet.

I've had plenty of characters die on me but then i back it up a turn and do something different and avoid the death.

So I'm mostly dumping characters as new and shiny ones arrive. You'll have to tear Boucheron out of my cold dead fingers tho.

Sundown wrote:

I think I prefer either the GBA era ones promotions where each class promotes into one or two things and that's it, or just opening it all the way up to customization like in Three Houses. This one is just kind of awkward.

That was the revelation for me after finishing Path of Radiance. Basically I like Fire Emblem 6 - 9 the best because, to me, less systems are better. Those games had the right amount of systems and I enjoyed working within the confines of limited XP, weapons that broke and the weapons triangle. And as little grinding as possible.

Basically every game since then has had trouble finding a balance I enjoy as much as I enjoy those games.

Games with more wide open reclassing and skills acquisition (FFT and FFTA) found a better balance in the other direction. Fire Emblem has a way to go to catch those games if they want characters to be more customizable.

Sundown wrote:

Honestly, I need to get back to Three Houses anyway and do my Blue Lions run, since I did the other two houses when it came back and keep wanting to get back to it.

Same. I might actually need to finish my Golden Deer run. But I'm curious to see the rest of the perspectives.

Awakening had a really cool thing with the kids. But it had a story relevant reason to do it. Once they tried to shoehorn that into the next game it was a disaster.

Stele wrote:

Awakening had a really cool thing with the kids. But it had a story relevant reason to do it. Once they tried to shoehorn that into the next game it was a disaster.

Oh man, I had literally never drawn the connection between that mechanic and the pattern of getting late game characters that are more powerful. This is a really good observation.

It makes me wish that more FE games did this. I know some folks found it a little ham-fisted, borderline creepy, but this version of the mechanic was awesome, because you still had a reason to be invested in the new characters they threw at you later in the game. And you kept a connection to the characters you would eventually put to pasture.

Having dabbled around some FE forums and YouTube channels, it seems like the invested player wisdom is that you are only supposed to pick 2-3 early game characters to invest in. Everyone else if there to soften enemies up and take hits so that your "project" units can get the kills, and thus the majority of the exp. Some early characters have bad stats, bad growths, or bad classes (not as relevant anymore) so you are not supposed to use them. Later characters are already promoted/leveled, so you need less investment to make them good. In Engage's case, those later characters also have a bunch of SP to spend immediately, whereas the early characters do not. Prior to the Ancient Well, almost all the Flora/Brodia characters were considered bad.

As for skill inheritance, Canter is just OP and should basically be on everyone. It's free mobility, and lets you attack then move to safety from other enemies or area affects.

I have not played the GBA/DS era FE games in awhile, I should probably revisit them to make sure I am not just viewing them with rose-tinted glasses, but they really did feel like the high point in the series. Sacred Stones and Awakening were just so good, with the right balance of administrative mechanics to keep it interesting but not overwhelming. I feel like forging has been a detriment to the game systems as a whole. It removes that weapon progression that existed in earlier games, and they have struggled to find other ways to make that interesting.

Stele wrote:

Awakening had a really cool thing with the kids. But it had a story relevant reason to do it. Once they tried to shoehorn that into the next game it was a disaster.

I really liked this in Awakening, but without that narrative conceit, it felt extremely ham-fisted in Fates. They also seem to like to make time nebulous in their narratives recently. Like in Fates I did not get the feeling that the war would have gone on for over a year for these characters to have met, bonded, have a kid, place them in a weird pocket dimension where time is accelerated, then meet that teenage/young adult kid. Like that should take at least a couple of years/ Three Houses had a firm timeline due to the months passing and such, but that also made some weird narrative dissonance for the story.

I hope a new FE game comes out.... Enrage does not seem to appeal to me

The combat is the best it's ever been in Engage. UI and QoL features are top notch.

Malkroth wrote:

I feel like forging has been a detriment to the game systems as a whole. It removes that weapon progression that existed in earlier games, and they have struggled to find other ways to make that interesting.

Hard agree. It’s the most irritating aspect of these later games, in part because the difficulty has been tuned around players using the forging mechanic. I just don’t find the system enjoyable. Watching a sword go from 13 damage to 14 damage. Feel the excitement!

It just becomes a chore you have to do, IMO.

Updating - I just finished Ch.17, which was one of the first sort of actually hard missions. This one had us against the Hounds, and they had 6 rings and we had 6 rings for an 'even' fight. I like that the bosses actually charge you in this game so you can't always just bait with one preferable unit. I also liked the Ike Paralogue for similar reasons, since you're playing defense and getting surrounded, and then Ike just rushes in and smashes stuff, so I wound up rewinding a couple of times until I came up with the strategy of just rushing him to finish the map.

Big shoutouts to my girl Yunaka the thief - she's not the best statistically, but good attack and speed and the most well rounded defenses, and is my dodge tank with the Corrin ring. Basically, I rush in with her and use the Corrin ability that creates a wall of clouds around her, which gives her a huge boost to evasion (normally it's 30, but doubles to 60 with Yunaka's personal ability). I can basically send her out in the middle of a group of enemies and cloud up, and then let her AGI tank against a bunch of 0% hit chance attacks, and then let the rest of my team clean up. And then I now have Draconic Hex on her, so when she initiates combat it reduces all the enemy stats by 4. So she's also the one to start a lot of fights against bosses, and then everyone else gets a much softer target. Seems busted!

Yeah that cloud ring was solid, I remember liking it.

Yeah, I was doing the dodge tank stuff with Alear and the Marth/Lucina rings. I had forged Liberation all the way to +5 and put the emblem that increases avoidance on it so she could easily dodge just about everything.

Yunaka's skill actually increases her crit when on avoid tiles. The doubling of avoid tile efficiency is just a perk of being a Covert unit, so archers benefit from it too.

Checking in again on Engage. I’m right at 50 hours in, and have completed the big story beat in chapters 21 and 22, and also did all the paralogues up to that point. I think starting with Ch.19, basically every story mission has been interesting (well, maybe not 22 but that was for story reasons), and then most of the paralogues were good. There was a couple of cheesy ones, like how Celica just warped in to attack and just got surrounded and ganked, and the Roy one where he won’t leave his throne unless you’re in range, so I had a couple of three range attackers slip in, hit him, and slip out and he just sat there and took it. Getting to that point with all the fliers coming at me was harder.

I actually sort of like the story. It’s been described here as a Saturday morning cartoon, and that’s probably apt. It’s a bit better than an excuse plan, and is certainly better than Conquest. It’s good enough for a FE game so far, so I’m fine with it.

It’s also interesting how my tactics have changed over the game. I think the early game MVP was Yunaka since she had a higher evade and good all around defenses, so I would push her out and let her pull enemies in and dodge tank it, and let others come in and clean up. I later gave her the Corrin ring to be my fog setter, and she’s perfect at it.

The real MVPs of the mid to late game have been Seadall / Alcryst / Citrinne, and it’s based entirely around Alcryst and Citrinne each having 3 range attacks and Cantor, so they can run up, hit someone from far away, and then slip back behind my front lines in the same turn. I gave Alcryst the Lyn ring and it lets him touch of death just about any unit at range, but the real charm is that high DEX triggers Luna a lot (he’s in his personal class), so that plus a longbow means he has a very long reach and a lot of damage off of it. Plus a upgraded Killer Bow and a Brave bow based on the type of enemy I'm trying to kill. And then I’m using the Thunder build for Citrinne, so she has a heavily upgraded Thunder tome (with the Ike engraving for extra power, and who cares if it’s heavy since she never gets attacked) and the ring that lets her attack twice with a thunder tome.

Citrinne is basically a one round kill on everything that isn’t maxing out RES (and even then sometimes she’ll still do it) which includes bosses, and Alcryst kills everything that isn’t armored, and might do that as well if I get a lucky Luna roll or two on the Killer Bow. So they each kill a unit per turn, retreat back to safety, and they Seadall dances on one of them and they do it again. No one is anywhere close to the number of kills those two have.

Rosemary cracks me up. She has really good all around stats in offense and defense, but she just isn’t as strong as anyone, nor does she have the best weapons since I give those to my better or more specialized units. But I gave her the Roy ring which I think buffs her 5 levels when activated, so I can just throw her out and let her tank anyone and everything for a turn or two with no support, which I don’t really do with anyone else. It’s not an incredible niche, but she does it well. I’ve used her on a rearguard action a couple of times like that when I was rushing a boss to kill them, and endless spawning enemies were coming up behind and I needed someone to distract them.

This just seems like a good FE game. The maps are fun, the combat system is good, the story is better than tolerable, the characters seem varied and fun and only a few are one note caricatures. There are way too many systems around the Somniel and a bunch of stuff around rings and engraving seem like it’s 90% just tweaks around the edges which is a waste of time. I don’t mind fiddly stuff (I liked the character development stuff in Three Houses), but most of the stuff here doesn’t seem to make a difference, which just becomes busywork.

Also, I think I saw that there is not a universally tracked Support Log, and that seems like a baffling decision. That’s one of the main reasons I would replay a game and try different characters is to fill that out.

I've done the biggest 180 on this game that I've done on any game ever, I think. Since I learned how to play it correctly it’s grown in my esteem and at this point I would go so far as to say I really love this game. It's not my favorite in the series. It still has to take a seat behind Path of Radiance, Sacred Stones, Binding Blade and Blazing Blade, but it might be just after those games for me. I really enjoy this game.

I'm at Chapter 21 as well, having just completed all of the non-DLC paralogues.

I really enjoyed the paralogues once I got better at the game. I enjoy that they take place on maps that are recognizable and frequently have mechanics that are recognizably from that Emblem's game. It gives you a chance to revisit some classic maps from a different perspective. My only story niggle is that I wish those maps didn't have Permadeath. It seems silly that for your bond to deepen the Emblem wants to engage in combat that could kill members of your party permanently. It's a bit silly in terms of the fiction. Otherwise I got some real momentum on those and just cruised through them one by one.

The story is still iffy for me, but it does begin to turn around a bit in the later game. I now hold the opinion that it's not so much a bad story overall as it is bad writing around a mediocre story. But the story overall has also grown on me a bit. The writing, especially some of the supports, can just be tedious at times.

I still don't like The Somniel and I'm not sure what the fix is other than to at least give you the option to do all of that stuff in menus the way you could in Path of Radiance.

What's changed the most for me? I think it's that once I wrapped my head around the skill system the game got more interesting, easier and more enjoyable overall.

Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance have this mechanic where you earn job points and you can spend those JP to give party members skills that belong to classes they were before, but aren't currently. I've come to appreciate the skill inheritance system to be similar to this mechanic. I don't think it's as rewarding to earn. Basically you just have to spend Bond Fragments and decide how to spend SP (which you have little control over earning) on inherited skills. So I think those games handle this mechanic better, but it's very similar and once I made that connection and began to truly understand it I started having a lot of fun customizing characters.

Since most of the characters I ended up using are pre-promotes or characters with specialized classes like Dancer or the Lords that all seem to have their own class, it's not as fun to mess with classes in this game. The skill inheritance system and how the Emblems interact with each character adds a lot of customization that usually doesn't exist in a Fire Emblem game and I've grown to appreciate that. I'm positive now that 90% of why I didn't enjoy my first aborted playthrough is because I didn't understand this mechanic well.

Now, that said, the UI is terrible around this. I still to this day don't know how you can really find thorough information on what skills each Emblem unlocks on each character. It feels like it's either hidden intentionally or the UI is just bad, but most of what I've learned about the affinities of Emblems to certain characters has come from trial and error. That's a big problem when this game is pretty difficult. Understanding these systems is what makes Hard doable. So making this information so hard to obtain is a big barrier to entry for this game.

You shouldn't have to drop a game, because you hate it, only to learn how it works via podcasts and Reddit posts to learn how to play the game properly. I feel like they made some big mistakes with this game that that was my journey with it.

Anyway, just some random thoughts for now. I'll likely finish this game.

DSGamer wrote:

What's changed the most for me? I think it's that once I wrapped my head around the skill system the game got more interesting, easier and more enjoyable overall.

Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance have this mechanic where you earn job points and you can spend those JP to give party members skills that belong to classes they were before, but aren't currently. I've come to appreciate the skill inheritance system to be similar to this mechanic. I don't think it's as rewarding to earn. Basically you just have to spend Bond Fragments and decide how to spend SP (which you have little control over earning) on inherited skills. So I think those games handle this mechanic better, but it's very similar and once I made that connection and began to truly understand it I started having a lot of fun customizing characters.

I'm very close to finishing the game (last mission is the only one left), but I wanted to put a point on the skill system.

The skills inheritance system is both really important and poorly explained. The first hurdle is you need to either equip and emblem to someone and let them fight a lot, or gather the star bits and use that to level someone with an emblem in the Arena. And the part you don’t learn until much later is that how many points you have to buy skills is kind of limited. I estimate that most units will have about 3000 SP or less total by the end of the game, so if you try to mess around with the system early on and buy something that boosts attack or speed for a unit, you could simply not have enough points later to buy something they are really going to need.

I also think it’s interesting how gamebreaking and mandatory two skills in particular are – Cantor (from Sigurd) and Speedtaker (from Lyn). Cantor lets you move two spaces after attacking or healing or dancing, and is probably the single most useful skill almost every unit can have – the utility to hit and run or heal and run or dance and fall back is hard to overestimate And then speedtaker can quickly snowball the power of a fairly slow unit, especially if they have Alacrity. So once they get a couple of kills and boost their speed, Alacrity means that they are taking both of their attacks before the enemy can even move. That’s a case of the best defense being a good offense if you can kill right then and there.

Cantor is reasonable at 500 skill points (again, of the total of 3000), but speedtaker is 2000. And so if you want speedtaker, there’s not too many other abilities you’re going to get through the whole game. There are so many options, but they seem to discourage experimentation with the points limit in place. It’s basically demanding multiple playthroughs to actually try stuff out and learn what works and doesn't, or more likely to use a guide. It ended being a cool system, but is poorly explained and you can screw up a character early on with now way to salvage it without realizing it. Bad design.

And even then with Cantor as an example, it means that you're going to have to spend about 500 star bits on everyone to have them do a level 5 fight with Sigurd to unlock the ability to inherit Cantor, and then have to spend the skill points with each unit in a different menu to actually inherit it. And then you have to go in a third menu to equip it.

I agree with all of that, Sundown. I couldn't have said it better myself.

It shouldn't be necessary to literally listen to podcasts and restart the game from 2/3rds of the way through, but I don't know where else I would have learned these things. At least those other games, FFT and FFTA provide ample opportunity to ground out JP and correct your mistakes and (importantly) to learn the systems from playing the game.

Upon restarting the game, now that I knew how important skills were and that some skills were practically useless (and that some skills disappeared for over half of the game). I focused on getting more bang for my buck in inheritance and earning certain skills before chapter 11/12. No wonder Hard was so difficult previously.

Cantor is definitely one of, if not the most, powerful skills in the game. The added mobility to either retreat from danger or press forward after an attack is so powerful. As for speedtaker, the flat +speed skills are much cheaper and nearly as strong. Speedtaker only procs when you get a kill when initiating an attack, plus Speed skills are active from the start of the map.

The ancient well really helps with the sp issue. Once you can do the 3* well you are guaranteed the novice sp book every time, with a chance of an extra novice, adept, and expert book.

But yes, the skill system is not emphasized enough. They really should have some characters with silks already inherited or something. Prior to ancient well, the Flora characters were considered extremely weak because they had lower sp pools than later units. Brodia only competed because they had early access to cantor whereas Elusian and Solm units came after you lost access to it.

And I finished FE Engage, just in time to put a final review in the GOTY thread. I think what I said before still holds, the game play is great, the characters are fine, the story is acceptable, and there’s just too much stuff going on at the Somniel that hardly seems necessary.

The final boss was fun, but I clearly had a broken team at this point – once we broke the shield, we killed the bosses multiple health bars in one round. With only half my team. Basically most of the biggest damage dealers plus a couple of key dances to get more moves in, but still. It was like a final test to see how busted a combo you could string together.

Malkroth wrote:

The ancient well really helps with the sp issue. Once you can do the 3* well you are guaranteed the novice sp book every time, with a chance of an extra novice, adept, and expert book.

I barely engaged with the well at all – I think I got a adept book one time and then more or less stopped doing anything with it. And I barely engaged with Sommie, and I never did the wyvern riding, and I did the strength training once and didn’t mess with it again, and the bond rings were a general waste of time except for the Double Thunder one I followed a guide for to give to Citrinne and then never touched again. This kind of goes to the big complaint about this game: too many systems. I eventually settled into the Somniel groove of run in, do the arena to level a couple of units close to leveling up, go get ingots from my dogs, do the activities at the barn to boost some support relationships, watch all the support conversations, and then leave and get back to the game. So much of the rest just seems like fluff that takes significant engagement for marginal benefit.

The first base you could run around in was Fates that I recall, and then Three Houses had the monastery, and then this has a whole floating island chock full of minigames and busywork. I’m starting to think that Fire Emblem needs to have a stripped down era, like a grunge phase or something to get back to basics. I like that supports are no longer gotten on the field of battle like in 7, but we don’t need a whole base to do the supports in, either. I think the Radiant games had a better idea, maybe Awakening too if memory serves.

And it’s baffling to me that they don’t have a master support log that tracks all your supports from playthrough to playthrough. Part of the fun of replaying the games is using other characters and strategies and filling out the support logs. The lack of it seems like an incomprehensible oversight.

I’m starting to think that Fire Emblem needs to have a stripped down era, like a grunge phase or something to get back to basics. I like that supports are no longer gotten on the field of battle like in 7, but we don’t need a whole base to do the supports in, either. I think the Radiant games had a better idea, maybe Awakening too if memory serves.

100%

Path of Radiance had a "base" phase, but it was basically all menus. As mentioned earlier, I just played Path of Radiance for the first time recently and having played that I now have the background on how we landed on "My Castle" and eventually The Monastery and now The Somniel.

With Three Houses I thought The Monastery was done well enough that I played through that games in its entirety 3 times. By the 3rd time The Monastery began to drag, but I enjoyed it the way I did the Persona games and at one point preferred it to the gameplay, although that may have more to say about the combat in Three Houses than the quality of The Monastery.

I'm definitely at a place where I would prefer a stripped down game at this point. I've replayed the GBA games over the years since I played Fates, Three Houses, etc. and I don't find those games lacking at all. If anything the stripped down nature of those games means that the systems they DO have are even more important to manage. In the GBA games you're basically managing money, weapons, XP and your roster. That plus some kind of skill system would be enough for me, honestly. I wish they would consider making a game like that.

Something I think about frequently is that all of these systems have to make the game harder to balancer. There are so many different ways to buff your characters and so many different systems interacting (forging, engraving, skill, etc.) that you either ignore those systems and the game is more difficult or you engage with them and the game becomes far easier. I definitely preferred the games when they were more streamlined experiences.

Out of curiosity, what was your final party? What weapons did you find you got the most mileage out of?

I'm at Chapter 22. I'll probably finish the game in the next week or so.

Sure, here’s my final team.

Alear – Class: Divine Dragon, Ring: Byleth, Skills: Vantage + and Canter
Honestly kind of a letdown in terms of power compared to others. The Byleth dance was really good though, and made a few big pushes work in the last handful of chapters. I used Liberation+4 as the main weapon until you get his special weapon at the end.

Citrinne – Class: Sage, Ring: Oswain S (the double thunder one), Skills: Canter, Tome Precision 3
My nuker. Run in, drop a fool, and run back. Up near the top of my kill list once I could keep her safe with Canter. Ran with Thunder+5 and the Ike forging for maximum damage. Speed doesn’t matter with this build, since that Thunder hits twice no matter what.

Ivy – Class: Lindwurm, Ring: Sigurd, Skills – Speedtaker, Tome Precision 3
My other nuker, with even better mobility to keep her away from Archers (thanks Sigurd) but slightly less killing power. Speedtaker helped with speed and tome precision offset the fact that late game spells had terrible accuracy. I think a Speed plus Alacrity could have worked well, since she usually couldn’t kill other mages in the first hit and took a lot of damage back. Started with Elfire+1, and flipped to Bologna+1 later in the game.

Louis – Class: Great Knight, Ring: Lucina, Skills: Defense+3, Hold Out
My all purpose physical wall. He takes hits and laughs them off. Defense+3 was from early game when I didn’t really understand how rare the SP would be. Hold Out is to keep him from dying to every mage who looks at him. Usually had a Spear or a Silver Axe. He could do damage, but that wasn’t his main role. Ring was for the bonded defense, but really it was just filler.

Hortensia – Class: Sleipnir Rider, Ring: Micaiah, Skills: Canter, Divine Pulse +
Heal Bot, but really good at it.

Kagetsu – Class: Wyvern Knight, Ring: Eirika, Skills: Canter, Alacrity+
My ringer for this game. Every game gives you someone who can kill anything, tank anything, and dodge anything. Kagetsu is that in this game. Main weapon was Wo Dao+4, but also made use of an Armorslayer and the Noatun+4 (one of the free DLC axes). The Noatun is actually what killed the final boss for me, since it was dropping like 70 damage per attack in two hits, and he got to do that several times. Eirika was useful for damage reduction skills, but this ring was also kind of filler.

Alcryst – Class: Tireur d’elite, Ring: Lyn, Skills: Canter, Draconic Hex
Another big killer. Lyn already gave him alacrity and speedtaker so he was killing things and then getting faster. No one could ever touch him. And Astra Storm was good for aggroing bosses and getting them to come and me and get ganged up on, and call doubles was good for baiting attacks. Main weapon was Longbow and a forged and upgraded Killer bow with was giving me a 60% critical on every attack. If he pulls a critical Luna, it doesn’t matter what your defense is, you're dead. I didn’t give him Draconic Hex until the end of the game since I kind of forgot he had an empty slot and a lot of SP, but it’s good for softening up bosses. The only other thing he could use is more attack, so either feed him energy drops or maybe a +Attack skill instead of Draconic Hex.

Seadall – Class: Dancer, Ring: Some forged ring, idk. Skills: Canter, Quality Time
He dances. Canter is great here to keep him out of combat. Quality Time is funny here as well.

Yunaka – Class: Thief. Ring: Marth, Skills: Canter, Alacrity
My early game carry. She dodges stuff, weakens enemies, and isn’t afraid of anything. Does shockingly high amounts of damage for a thief (just keep her away from armor). Midgame I gave her the Corrin ring and had it until a spoiler character joined us; she would run up and drop fog and then dodge tank for me. It was great. Marth was a filler ring, but it gave her some evasion I guess.

Panette – Warrior, Ring: Ike, Skills: Vantage++, Hit+15
Gives me big damage, was hitting 70-100% criticals by the end of the game. Ike lets her tank, Vantage lets her kill guys before they can attack her. There was a mission near the end where there was unlimited spawning enemies. I just left her alone on one side of the map to handle the reinforcements. She handled it totally unsupported. It doesn’t matter who you fight if you’re killing them with a 100% critical before the enemy can attack on their own turn. Main weapon was Killer Axe +5 with an engraving for even more critical percent. Also had a Tomahawk and a longbow. Hit+15 was just to offset her accuracy problems.

Goldmary - Class: Hero, Ring: Roy, Skills: Dual Assist+, Reposition
She was never the killer that Kagestu or Panette were due to lack of power and/or speed, but she was tanky, and Roy gave her better stats. And she was a great assist bot. Roy was sort of filler on her initially, but that 5 level boost he gives made her very durable to stand on her own for a bit, and the support ability to set things on fire was sort of her niche at the end. Killer Lance and Silver sword were main weapons.

Pandreo - Class: High Priest, Ring: Lief, Sills: Defense+2, Staff Mastery+3
Total filler charterer with a filler ring, but having an extra healer was nice. And he did surprising amounts of damage. Honestly, I didn’t bother doing skills until right before the last battle, and so I didn’t have the star bits to give him anything useful. That should tell you about what I thought of him - did his limited things capably, but was never flashy or unusually useful.

Spoiler characters that you get around when you are now

Spoiler:

Veyle – Class: Fell Child, Ring: Corrin, Skills – Speedtaker, Canter
She was kind of like Pandreo stats wise but with much better defense, but being a dragon she could get the most out of Corrin, so she was now on permanent Dragon Vein duty (which is really useful in her hands, way more options than Yunaka had). I gave her Thoron to go with Obscurite to have a longer ranged option. She never doubled anything due to her speed and was never a major offensive presence. But useful enough to help either weaken guys or pick off weakened guys. Needs help on speed and accuracy.

Mauvier – Class: Griffin Knight, Ring: Celica, Skills: Speedtaker, Canter
I kept him around since his stats were good enough. He was tanky but couldn’t take physical hits as well as Louis, and couldn’t take magic hits as well as the mages. But well rounded. I gave him Celica since he had decent magic attack and I didn't know who else to giver her to, and he was pretty much just using the Levin Sword on everything. Could have given him Lief and Celica to Pandreo, but whatever. They were not my main characters. Got some kills on tanky guys with poor resistance, but that’s about it.

The highlights were definitely Citrinne, Alcryst, Kagestu, and Panette. Ivy also had some big nukes at the end but couldn’t kill other ranged units without taking some damage back, unlike these four who could either double before the enemy moved or just drop a crit-nuke on the first blow. Most other units were up there to take hits or dodge to set those four who would go in and get the real kills.

That brings back memories. Ivy was my goddess. And Louis laughed in the face of everyone. I kept the +1 range on Alcryst all the time and sniped everyone. I should load up a save and look at what else I had near the end.

Strange that Ivy was not tanky for you, mine was incredibly durable. And her unique skill lets her one-shot mages when it procs since it adds half their magic stat to her damage. We only had about half of our units overlap it looks like.

Well, I finished the game today. It was a really great game in the end. One of my favorite of the series. I just wish it wasn't so impenetrable the first time through.

Sundown wrote:

Sure, here’s my final team.

This really helped. In the end it caused me to give up and use Alear with Byleth as a dancer / for the later stage Engage powers. I wasn't getting much out of her as a combat unit and that's a great character to stick with Goddess Dance.

Spoiler:

Also I wasn't really using Veyle, but your post reminded me I could use her as the Dragon Vein tank, which was helpful over the last couple of chapters.

My final team was Alear, Celine, Framme, Ivy, Louis, Alcryst, Seadall, Yunaka, Panette, Fogado, Chloe, Rosado and

Spoiler:

Veyle and Mauvier

In the end I didn't really love Yunaka, Panette, Fogado and Rosado. So I think if I played it again, which I think I will, I would choose some characters differently. I'd really like to try out Kegetsu, Pandreo, Citrinne and give more time to Diamant.

Only last notes from my run is that the Citrinne Thunder build is really good, but really expensive in terms of the bond points - spent maybe 7000 or more to get the specific bond ring she needed due to RNG. The other option could have been go have an upgraded thunder until Thoron comes around and then just upgrade that. Costs more in money and resources but would have opened up some the points that I could have used to get better skills on other units, and a lot sooner. Not sure the trade off was worth it, but the Double +5 Thunder was also kind of ridiculous. But Citrinne likes the 3 ranged spells since she REALLY doesn't want to be in range of any physical attacks. Just folds like a wet paper bag.

And for the spoiler character:

Spoiler:

it's kind of funny how good Veyle is with the Corrin ring. I assumed that fog was the only option since that's all Yunaka had, but suddenly there was that big dropdown of options that she had access to. Fog was still the most used one, but I used the AOE heal a few time, plus the defense booster when tanking Marth in his paralogue when I knew dodging wouldn't work, plus the fire one to slow down a wave of opponents and let my ranged attackers work. Great utility character!

Sundown wrote:

And for the spoiler character:

Spoiler:

it's kind of funny how good Veyle is with the Corrin ring. I assumed that fog was the only option since that's all Yunaka had, but suddenly there was that big dropdown of options that she had access to. Fog was still the most used one, but I used the AOE heal a few time, plus the defense booster when tanking Marth in his paralogue when I knew dodging wouldn't work, plus the fire one to slow down a wave of opponents and let my ranged attackers work. Great utility character!

This is, once again, something they don't document very well. They don't tutorialize Emblem Ring skills very well in general, but definitely not these type bonuses. They're in the UX, but very small and they don't jump out. Once you get familiar with them, though, you go looking everywhere.

Spoiler:

I personally had Corrin on Alear for a while, because I wanted to get the benefit of those extra options, but it took me a long time to discover it. And I don't think there's another character other than Veyle who can take advantage of it.

Sorry for posting something not entirely Fire Emblem related, but I just finished the demo for Unicorn Overlord and posted my thoughts over in the JRPG thread. I really think Fire Emblem fans will want to put this game on their radar if it isn't already.