Bernadetta von Varley
Bernadetta is a Black Eagles student at the Officers Academy, hailing from the County of Varley in the Adrestian Empire. She is extremely shy and skittish towards strangers, preferring her own company in her dormitory during her free time at the monastery.
|Ethereal Moon 12|
Imperial Year 1162
|Minor Crest of Indech||17||F|
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Base Stats (Level 1 Noble)
Variable Recruitment Base Stats
Bernadetta is a great example of the great number of customization options in Three Houses saving what would normally be a terrible unit. At face value, Bernadetta is very unimpressive. Like most other students, her bases are borderline unusable. She's very frail, slow, and has only average Strength. Given her bad 35% Strength growth rate and overall low bulk, Bernie looks to be rather lackluster on all fronts, at least on paper.
Bernadetta's first impression is a decent one. She starts with D Rank Bows, giving her immediate access to Curved Shot. This allows her to immediately provide relevant chip damage to enemies from a safe distance, and puts her decent base 8 Strength to use. However, once Bernie gets a few levels under her belt, the player will likely begin to notice that the only stat that really grows is Dex, and sometimes Speed. Getting a point of Strength is like a Christmas present, in the sense that it happens roughly once per calendar year. Bernadetta will quickly fall behind the rest of the students in terms of on-paper combat effectiveness.
The first saving grace for Bernadetta is her amazing personal ability. Persecution Complex is extremely easy to activate, by simply letting Bernadetta take a hit. This can be done safely on player phase by giving her a lance and attacking any melee enemy, or attacking bow/magic enemies from range. Once Persecution Complex is active, Bernadetta will automatically gain +5 Atk on each attack. That's almost as good as Death Blow, and it's even active during the enemy phase. During battle, Bernadetta will probably never be at full health aside from the first player phase, so it's almost as if she always does 5 extra damage per hit.
The second saving grace for Bernie is the outright broken Vengeance combat art. She learns this at Lance C+, which should be reachable within the first few chapters given her boon in the skill. Vengeance has great synergy with her personal ability, adding 1 Might for every missing point of HP. At 1 HP, Bernadetta can reliably one shot most bosses in the game using Vengeance and a Steel Lance. Even the Death Knight will fall after taking a few gambit chips. Bernie doesn't need to be near death to make good use of Vengeance either. As long as she is missing some HP, Persecution Complex and Vengeance is probably enough for her to one shot any regular enemy.
Merely having access to the combination of Persecution Complex and Vengeance turn Bernadetta into a player phase monster. However, given some further investment, she can become one of your best units, right up there with Byleth and the house leader. Despite having a bane in Axes, simply setting it as one of her goals will allow her to reach rank D+ in a reasonable amount of time, letting her potentially qualify for Brigand. Mastering Brigand will earn her Death Blow. With both Death Blow and Persecution Complex active, Bernadetta has an effective +11 Atk during the player phase, which is more than enough to circumvent her bad Strength. A few HP stat boosters will give you more breathing room for activating her personal ability, as well as increase Vengeance damage. A Heavy Armor class adjutant will provide her with Adjutant Guard, giving Bernadetta a guaranteed way to reach 1 HP during the enemy phase, as long as she can tank the first of an enemy double attack. A good in-house candidate for this role is Caspar, who supports her and is a lackluster unit by himself.
Bernadetta usually wants to master Fighter for extra early game Strength, then Archer and Brigand for Hit +20 and Death Blow. Once Bernadetta has reached the benchmarks required for these classes, as well as Vengeance, she should begin working on her Riding skill. Her budding talent in Riding gives her the excellent Pass ability, allowing her to snake her way into enemy ranks to one shot high priority targets. Getting Bernadetta to Paladin should be a top priority towards the end of part 1, since the extra movement and Canto will help her greatly with survivng against the hoards of enemies post-timeskip. Once she's a high enough level, Bow Knight is a good master class, giving her Bowrange +2 and Bowfaire. This does make her lose the Lancefaire that Paladin provides, so on maps where she's going to be spamming Vengeance it may be better to temporarily reclass her as a Paladin.
Like other frail player phase nukes, she will need to be played around in order to be truly effective. This is especially problematic in the War Phase of any Maddening route, where the enemy density can be too much for Bernadetta to wreak havoc without dying in the process. This is where having range bonuses such as Bowrange +2, and Curved Shot are important, since they allow Bernadetta to safely deal out chip damage. She also learns Encloser at A Rank Bows, allowing her to provide utility by freezing a single enemy in place. Bernadetta's effectiveness will drop off the later the game goes, but she will never be a bad unit.
Bernadetta can also be optimized for the enemy phase, by using a combination of Vantage and Battalion Wrath. With Vantage, Battalion Wrath, and Persecution Complex active, she will easily one shot any enemy that tries to go near her with a Vantage crit. Her critical rate will easily reach the 90-100 range when Battalion Wrath is active thanks to her good Dex, and Persecution Complex effectively has triple effectiveness when every attack is a crit. Bernadetta will need some support to perform properly using this build, particularly an ally with the Retribution gambit to allow her to counter (with Vantage) at all ranges for 5 turns. Another option is to equip her with the Chalice of Beginnings if you have access to the DLC. Bernadetta will have to pass into Mercenary to pick up Vantage at some point to go this route. Battalion Wrath is easily accessible at Authority Rank C.
Another option is to take advantage of Bernadetta's unique White Magic spell pool and opting for Dark Knight. This trades a relevant Faire ability and Bowrange +2 (in the case of Bow Knight) for the ability to use both Physic and Rescue. Bernadetta's Magic growth is horrendous, but Dark Knight has a base Magic of 17, good enough for an 8-range Physic and a 4-range Rescue.
All in all, Bernadetta can be an absolute monster of a unit with the proper set up and a little bit of investment. She will be your most reliable boss killer the moment she picks up Vengeance, and will prove to be a powerhouse until the endgame, where she transitions into a more supportive role. She can still one-shot most enemies later on in the game, but will likely need other units to kill or gambit-freeze all other enemies nearby in order to survive the enemy phase. She is a solid A tier unit, and can perform like an S tier unit when given the proper resources.
Bernadetta will automatically be recruited if the player selects to teach the Black Eagles house.
Bernadetta can be recruited once Byleth has achieved a stat of Str 20 and Skill Rank C in Bow. These requirements can be lowered if Byleth builds support with Bernadetta, as shown in the below table.
|Support Level||Stat||Skill Rank|
|None||Str 20||Bow C|
|C||Str 16||Bow C|
|C+||Str 12||Bow D+|
|B||Str 8||Bow D|
|B+||Str 4||Bow E+|
|A place you'd like to visit||I heard some gossip||Thanks for everything|
|I'm counting on you||The courtyard couple||Books you've read recently|
|The ideal relationship||Cats||Likable allies|
|Children at the market||Our first meeting||The library's collection|
|Overcoming weaknesses||The view from the bridge||Cooking mishaps|
|Things that bother you||Cute monks||Perfect recipes|
|Exploring the monastery||Plans for the future||You seem different|
|School days||You seem well||Favorite sweets|
|You're doing great work||Food in the dining hall||Shareable snacks|
My mother works in the Imperial capital. People there say she's a genius.
Please don't eavesdrop on my singing anymore, OK?
I was worried you called me here to punish me for something. I'm glad I was wrong.
If two people decide to be recluses together…does that even still count?
I like to hide out in the greenhouse, but I always have to leave eventually. No place to sleep.
It's relaxing here! Should've brought my sewing kit.
You're spoiling me. I don't want to go out on my own anymore.
My room at the monastery is my home away from home, but this is cozy too.
The room feels a little…empty. Needs more cuteness.