Today the students of the divisive Black Eagles house are lining up for judgement. When it comes to pure personality diversity we have to say that the Black Eagles have the other houses licked. Such strangeness encompasses an agoraphobic girl, a savagely sarcastic healer and lest we not forget, a certain Von Aegir. Still, we’re not here to discuss the diversity of personalities on display within the house, rather we’re all about the numbers. It might sound a bit harsh, but when we’re faced with countless powerful foes throughout our latest Maddening Mode run, personal trifles take a back seat to pure performance. As such, today we’re ranking the students of the Black Eagles house based on their power in battle.
Black Eagles Tier List
It’s rather hard to know what to say about the character of Edelgard, certainly without getting all spoiler-y, so we’ll retreat to the comfort of pure statistics. That being the case, the leader of the Black Eagles house is an absolute powerhouse. Just look at those starting stats! That strength stat is huge and it’s not going to stop there thanks to a great growth rate. Sure, Edelgard isn’t likely to be the fastest member of your team, but she’ll be able to turn her hand to any physical class you desire and put out huge amounts of damage. She’s an absolute monster, in more ways than one, and a unit that easily stands atop the Black Eagles tier list.
We’ll be the first to admit that an underwhelming feeling was felt when we first used Petra. Having initially played through the Blue Lions route, we were completely spoiled by the speedy powerhouse that is Felix, so other ‘quick’ units had a high watermark to attempt to reach. Having completed each house route on multiple occasions now, we’re happy to report that Petra is every bit as fantastic as the moody blue lad. Her strength might not reach the same heights and her personal skill isn’t quite there, but she’s thunderously fast no matter which class you choose and given a little time she’ll shred her way through countless enemies on her own.
Despite his legendary meme-lord status coming entirely on the back of his repeating voice over lines, Ferdinand manages to make his way into our top tier… Begrudgingly. As a battle unit, he’s as close as you’ll get to an ‘Abel’ archetype for us, occupying our slot for a high strength, defence and good speed unit all wrapped into one. He’s a strong unit throughout, his high early statistics making him an ideal choice for a powerful mounted unit in the mid game, before transferring him into a Wyvern Lord late on. His personal skill isn’t fantastic, though it can be useful when using some less accurate weaponry, but he’s carried into our top tier on the strength of his statistics alone.
Linhardt is the first to appear in our middle, great tier. We define this tier as units that are very good performers that just miss out on that final element that would make them fantastic. In this case Linhardt is a very good unit, perfectly capable of healing your team with a great selection of spells, whilst also contributing damage when required. Issues arise when you begin to look for that little bit extra that would push him forward, instead finding him teetering between a great and good unit. His spell selection is fantastic, learning both Warp and Excalibur in Faith and Reason respectively, yet his personal skill is absolutely terrible and his statistics aren’t great, and he suffers for the lack of Master spell casting classes. Linhardt is a well balanced unit then, one that will perform well and do everything you need, yet never quite scale the heights available to others.
Oh Bernadetta, how you confuse us. Built into this character are the abilities to be one of the best units in the game. Her personal skill, in which she deals more damage when below full health, can be used to remove chunks of health from opponents in every turn. Her crest too can activate, giving her the ability to deal even more damage in the form of additional full attacks. Even her budding talents push her towards the fantastic Bow Knight Master class. Yet this is all offset by her statistical growths. Over countless runs we’ve had wildly varying versions of Bernadetta, from world beater to slow single attacking archer. It’s a shame really because Fire Emblem, at least on high difficulty levels, favours consistency in battle over anything else. If you get the epic version of Bernadetta she’s technically near the top of our tier list, yet the poor version is near the bottom, so in the end we’ve settled on placing her in the middle. More so than any other unit here, your mileage may vary. Wildly.
Throughout our writing about Three Houses so far, the top of our lists tend to lean towards statistical dominance, after all the best stats tend to equal the best performance. In Dorothea however, this isn’t entirely true. Her stats really aren’t anything special, not even close to some of the other mages available, yet she gains huge utility due to two main things; her personal skill which heals adjacent allies every turn for free, and her spell selection, which includes the fantastic Meteor siege tome. Both of these mean that she’ll always be useful no matter the situation, and she’ll perform well in any team build. Her poor faith spell selection and stats may hold her back, but she’s still a unit deserving of your attention.
Experienced in a vacuum, Hubert may seem like a very good mage. His magic stat is very high and he’ll amass a large selection of powerful spells with which to both damage and debuff your opponents. There is nothing inherently wrong with any of those things, and if you treat him like a regular mage he’ll certainly do a good job. The problem arises when you begin to consider him outside of the vacuum, and compare him to the other magic users available in Three Houses. Firstly, he’ll be outclassed by his own classmate Dorothea, thanks to her siege tome Meteor, and comparisons to those outside of the Black Eagles – Lysithea and Constance for example – will also see him come up short. Topping this all off is the poor spell caster class choice in the late game for males characters. Hubert isn’t a bad unit, but when you have a big selection of superior spell casters are your fingertips, he ends up feeling a little… Superfluous.
Much like his house mate Hubert, Caspar’s issues arise when you compare him to the other options available. Petra will completely outclass him from a speed perspective, Ferdinand from a Strength and Defence perspective, and Bernadetta is a better archer. OK, so surely he could carve out another niche, perhaps in another class of sorts? Yes, you can make Caspar a Grappler or a Wyvern Lord or such, and both will see him perform well, but such things don’t make Caspar good, rather the classes and weapons make him so. Perhaps we’ve been continuously screwed over by RNG, but he’s never been anything but a middling unit for us, a ‘jack of all trades’ type that unfortunately has no majorly redeeming features. That personal skill is terrible too.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Ranked
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