Good lord. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good word vomit title on this blog. You’re all welcome.
I’ve been continuing my various playthroughs of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, desperately hoping that the next round of DLC gives us new classes1Dark Flier, please., a golden path2A path where all of the primary characters of the story live…or at the least have the potential to., or the ability to remove gender locks from certain classes3Is War Master Ingrid or Falcon Knight Hubert so much to ask for?. In doing so, I’ve decided to do a run where I play on Casual mode with the intent of grinding every character I have to level 99. Why? Why not.
In one of my previous runs, I made an effort to try to hamstring my run by making my units fill classes that they would otherwise struggle in. This led to predictably poor results. For example, Gremory Petra is not the most useful magic-user, considering she’s got a handicap in both reason and faith magic. That said, it did lead to me accidentally discovering a couple of units that were shockingly in the classes I stuck them in.
Thus comes the premise of this post. I’m going to take a look at each of the game’s master classes — Mortal Savant, Falcon Knight, War Master, Wyvern Lord, Great Knight, Dark Knight, Holy Knight, and Gremory — as well as the Dancer class and talk about units that are surprisingly good in that end game class. Perhaps you’re playing Classic Mode and need to fill some spaces with some non-class-optimized units. Maybe you’re trying to do a run where your units aren’t in the same class as your last three runs. Maybe you just want to have fun. This list is for you. The units this list are not units in their ideal or even second-best class. But they will be fun to use and surprisingly useful.
Before I get into this list, here are a few honorable mention unit/class combinations I want to talk about.
- Great Knight Bernadetta – It takes a LOT of work to get her there, but Bernadetta can hold her own in this class. Keep a bow on her and suddenly you have a wall of death. But Bernadetta appears on this list for a different class.
- Ingrid – Ingrid is so good at so many classes that it was hard to slot her in this list. The classes where I’d consider her are all ones where there’s a clear sneaky good unit that already exists, while all the weaker classes are the classes where Ingrid is a more natural fit.
- Felix – Has the same problem as Ingrid, with the key difference being he actually has one sneaky good class — Dancer. Too bad there’s three or four units ahead of him for that distinction.
- Catherine, Anna, and Linhardt – All three of these units suffer from the same problem, in that they all fit better into an Advanced class than a Master class. This may well change with coming DLC, but none of them can really be sneaky good at a class when they’re all forced fits in the existing classes.
Mortal Savant – Marianne
It’s always bothered me how some of the students in the game don’t have a logical class pairing that goes well with their crest’s associated relic. For all practical purposes, Marianne has zero business being in hand-to-hand combat. She has the lowest strength cap in the game, the second-lowest strength growth, and one of the lowest defense growths in the game. Yet pair her relic sword, Blutgang, with Marianne’s shockingly strong reason magic list and you’ve got an adept Mortal Savant. Why not Lysithea here? Because everyone is already using Lysithea as a reason magic class thanks to her access to Dark Spikes. Marianne might be best suited as a healer, but her magic-based attacking is nothing to scoff at.
Honorable Mention: Ingrid
Falcon Knight – Shamir
Shamir is broken. She is the only reason I wish the Kinishi Knight class from Fates had made its way over to Three Houses. Throwing her on any flying mount makes her one of the most dangerous units in the game thanks to access to the Alert Stance skills. The most powerful stat trifecta in Three Houses is, in my opinion, the Dexterity/Speed/Luck trio. This set of stats is particularly important for flying classes thanks to the abundance of bows in the game, as it’s kill or be killed. Shamir has the 5th highest combined growth rate in these three stats and third highest among female units (who Falcon Knight is locked to). The only ones with a higher combined growth rate are Petra — one of the two units you could argue are canon fliers — and Leonie, who is the best flying unit in the game aside from Claude. Shamir has better growths here than Ingrid! Just try her out as a Falcon Knight. You’ll thank me.
Honorable Mention: Manuela
War Master – Ferdinand von Aegir
Did you realize that Ferdinand von Aegir and Caspar have nearly identical stats in both growths and max stats? You know how Caspar is an awesome War Master? Ferdinand von Aegir is pretty good at it too, even if it is beneath his noble station. Unlike Felix, he isn’t an obvious choice for this class, nor is he gender locked out of it like Petra, Catherine, and Hilda are. Granted, nothing will be as funny as when I made Cyril a War Master, but he was predictably terrible. Ferdinand von Aegir as one though? That worked really well.
Honorable Mention: Felix
Wyvern Lord – Raphael
First off, the Wyvern Lord class is overpowered. Literally anyone who is even passable with an axe wrecks nearly everything in this class. Raphael — despite all of his limitations in terms of mobility — does not have a bane to his flying stats. This shocked me when I noticed it. Considering he has the single highest HP cap and growth in the game, along with his otherworldly strength, you can beast he’s a beast in this class. It’s hard to have a sneaky good Wyvern Lord, so why not go with the loudest character in the game.
Honorable Mention: Annette with a Bolt Axe
Great Knight – Petra
Part of the appeal to Petra as a unit is that her speed growths are so high that she can double pretty much enemy unit in the game by the fifth or sixth month of the game. It’s impressive. Her biggest problem is that if anyone gets in close on her and she doesn’t double them, her defense is low enough that she’s one relatively easy to take out. The Great Knight class takes Petra from a very good glass cannon to an every-so-slightly slower, but much tankier death machine. It reminds me a little bit of Frederick in the early game of Awakening, only she doesn’t drop off. In terms of utility, she’s arguably the most natural fit into the sneaky good class of any unit on this list. It’s just that she’s so much better at so many other things that Great Knight goes overlooked.
Honorable Mention: Ashe
Bow Knight – Lysithea
Okay, let’s be serious. You’re not using Lysithea as a Bow Knight. You’re just not. The goal here is to get Lysithea some HP and Defense growths in the classes that’ll take her through to get her to a Bow Knight. The Cavalier class and Paladin classes give +20 HP/+5 DEF and +30 HP/+5 DEF growths, respectively. Slap a Magic Bow on Lysithea and she’s a decent Bow Knight. You’re not doing this. I know so. But it’s not going to be as bad as you might think.
Honorable Mention: Hubert
Dark Knight – Claude
Did you know Claude’s spell list includes both Cutting Gale and Excalibur? In fact, he has the exact same Reason spell list as the best non-Dark Magic-user in the game, Annette. Sure, his growths in magic aren’t the best. But with that spell list, he’s going to be hitting a lot harder than you might think. I do also want to call out the fact that the honorable mention unit in this list, Hilda, is one of only two units that can learn the long-range nuke spell Bolting. Who knew the Golden Deer were such a good magic house?
Honorable Mention: Hilda
Holy Knight – Leonie
Speaking of sneaky good magic users in the Golden Deer, Leonie has a surprisingly good set of utility Faith spells. Her natural affinity for Lance and Riding means you can focus her on Faith from super early in the game, allowing you to build magic stats in the Mage or Priest classes. I’ve used Leonie as a Holy Knight in two playthroughs so far and find her to be one of the best secondary clerics in the game.
Honorable Mention: Ignatz
Gremory – Manuela
I know what you’re thinking. Manuela’s canon class by outfit is the Priest class. How is she a sneaky good Gremory? While Faith is one of her boon stats, the think is that the rest of her growths make her a much more natural Falcon Knight. Combine that with the fact that her Reason skill receives a penalty and you’re going to have to put a lot of work into making Manuela a Gremory. But considering she has access to Bolting, Warp, Silence, and Ward, she has a unique spell set that no other unit in the game has access to. I’d argue it’s worth your time, even if she isn’t a top-tier Gremory.
Honorable Mention: Anna
Dancer – Bernadetta
You want to know why so many people like Olivia as a Dancer in Awakening4Other than the fact that she has some of the most revealing official art of any unit in the game. This fact blows a lot of people’s minds when they first notice it.? She’s a Dancer unit that also has access to the Pass ability, allowing her to ignore enemies blocking her path to get to other units. You know who the only unit is that can learn Pass in Three Houses? That’d be Bernadetta. Combine that with the fact that Bernadetta gets access to Physic and Rescue — all while still being able to use her insane bow skills — and you have a unit that can stay way out of everyone’s way AND charge into the frey when she needs to. I personally prefer her as a Dancer to the canon Dancer unit, Dorothea.
Honorable Mention: Ferdinand von Aegir, Edelgard