Within a group of characters so large as that of Three Houses, there are bound to be winners and losers. We’ve written at length about the very best classes, characters, healers and even Mortal Savants over the last year or so, but one thing we’ve yet to do is detail the absolute worst characters in the entirety of Three Houses, DLC included. These games have a tendency to turn the regular fan into a rabid, insult spewing monster, so whilst we’re positive that your opinion might differ to ours, let’s try to keep things as civil as possible shall we? Here goes nothing…
For the most part, building a Fire Emblem team is about accepting compromises. For every Seth or Frederick there must be a Leonardo of sorts, a weaker character that requires the bulk and reliability alongside them. This forms the basis of the entire series, pulling the player along in a series of increasingly tense encounters, where the power level of each team member must be balanced and in a lot of cases, protected. Unfortunately for our first choice – Flynn – it’s this last point that really lets her down.
This is because Flayn is primarily designed to be a healer, which automatically puts her into the ‘must be protected’ category. There’s always room to make such a unit into a ‘battlemage’ of sorts, but the generally accepted route for units like this is to position them a fair distance away from the fray, and use their spells and skills to restore health and generally keep the team ticking over. Unfortunately, Flayn lacks the most basic of skills that allow this to safely occur: Physic. By lacking this single target ranged heal, she will have to do a great deal of her work whilst positioned close to her allies, which is very dangerous in an open game such as Three Houses. Sure, she has some useful skills like Fortify and Rescue, but she’s easily outclassed by countless other units, each of which are well equipped to heal targets more than a few spaces away.
- In the majority of cases Flayn will be a healer, but she lacks Physic, which is a long range single target heal. Without this, she has to rely on being very close to her allies, which keeps her in danger.
- Technically, her personal skill will make adjacent allies take 3 less damage, but this isn’t worth having to position your healer very close to the front lines.
- Further to the above, Flayn will struggle to keep up with other members in terms of movement, leaving her in a strange ‘no man’s land’ with no ranged heal.
- She has a massive Resistance growth, so she’s technically good versus enemy mages, but this won’t do her much good when 1 single cavalry breaks through or trots around your front line.
We noted the balance that must be achieved in building a team within these games, and our next choice is an example of another event often witnessed: The necessity character. Oftentimes a developer will want to tug at some heart strings, and without spoiling too much they attempt to do this within the Azure Moon route of Three Houses. However, having gone ahead with this, and indeed having designed one highly difficult ‘return’ chapter, we suspect they left themselves in a bit of a bind. Up steps Gilbert, designed to slot in at one particular moment in the story and shore up your defences a little.
Now, whilst he is technically successful in doing so, this is effectively the limit of his usefulness. He has no crest, his personal skill simply reduces incoming damage somewhat when a Battalion is equipped, and outside of Strength and Defence his growths are poor to say the least. All of this means that he will struggle to perform in a class outside of the Armour Knight hierarchy, itself terrible, and his usefulness will immediately erode to that of a bench warmer. Worse still, when he joins they even gave him a Steel Axe, and his skill level makes him woefully inaccurate. Were it not for the inclusion of a painfully terrible unit described below, ol’ Gilbert would likely occupy the very bottom of the character barrel.
- Gilbert is the quintessential Armour Knight, designed to stand in a choke point and offer very little other than high physical damage reduction. All told, this is the one job he does somewhat well.
- Every stat outside of Strength and Defence is terrible, and his growths aren’t much better, to the point where he’ll struggle to even hit anything on higher difficulty levels.
- He’s unsuited to other classes, and even if you could make it work, there are countless better options.
- Gilbert’s personal skill simply reduces incoming damage when a Battalion is equipped, and he has no Crest at all.
- Let’s be honest, he was put in the game to help out the Blue Lions when they found themselves down a member. His usefulness begins and ends there.
Third on our list of things that often repeat in Fire Emblem is an actual character, Anna. Who doesn’t love our feisty and unusual, parallel universe hopping shopkeeper? Well in this case, it’s anybody that attempts to use her in battle throughout Three Houses. Much like the above, we feel like the developer absolutely had to include this character in some form or another, but at the same time didn’t want to disturb the delicate balance of the students, so they decided to make her… Terrible at everything?
Alright, so she does have a good Speed and Skill growth and her personal skill will grant her more Luck, but the remainder of her stats are very poor. Now, having a squishy ‘Myrmidon’ like character isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but her personal skill is designed to sometimes negate counterattacks, which means that she should be attacking on player phase. A very defensively weak character attacking on player phase can finish off units, but she will need excessive protection from her team on enemy phase and on higher difficulty levels she’ll struggle to even scratch opponents, never mind finishing them off.
Worst of all however, is that she has no supports at all, meaning she’ll neither benefit nor provide any benefit to the members surrounding her. Subsequent DLC classes can suit her better, after all she previously appeared as a ‘Trickster’ in Awakening, but this will come with the caveat that she requires excessive babysitting and should you decide to take on a higher difficulty level, the equivalent of a challenge run.
- Anna has poor stats and growths outside of Speed and Skill. Whilst this mimics the old Myrmidon way, there are countless better options available throughout Three Houses that fit the same mould.
- Her personal skill is simply +5 to Luck. Any free stats are nice of course, but this is massively worse than almost every other personal in the game.
- Her Crest has a chance to ignore counter attacks. Outside of finishing off stragglers, this requires her to do the attacking on player phase to activate, which doesn’t play well with her tiny defensive capabilities.
- Anna has absolutely no supports, so zero additional benefits can be found by positioning her with others in battle.
- She feels like a token addition to the roster. One that was almost expected by the fanbase, but also one that the developers didn’t want to outclass any of the current house students. They seemingly settled on including her, but making her terrible in almost every way.
13/05/2022 – The day Henry beat Double Pneumonia for good.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Three Houses