Class Analysis (Late Game)
Posted by Rengor1997 | July 18 2020
This is the second part of the Class Analysis meta discussion and will concentrate on classes that you get from level 20 onwards or their Unique equivalents. If you haven't read the previous part then do so here, and if you're not familiar with the classes themselves, check out the Classes page.
Now in this post I will additionally give each class an assigned "role" based on what I feel the class is for, which will be supported by each class' analysis. Note that these are the classes where you're considering whether this should be your final end class, so that is also a relevant discussion point.
Classes that units can start certifying for at level 20. Click here for a full list.
Here we have a class that is really hurt by the mechanics of Maddening mode – with how high enemy stats get and with how swords are just inferior to axes due to lower mt for not much more hit, this class with its 5 movement, high certification requirement and stat buffs that are outclassed by Wyvern in basically every way, becomes really undesirable. If Astra was better in 3H it could've been a saving grace, but since it cuts each hit to 30% damage it's a really bad combat art overall. The only other use is if you're going for a crit build on someone like Dimitri who can't access War Master easily but wants to boost their crit rate with something like Wo Dao+ for their combo setup, then the class could be decent for that, but overall it's better to stick to something with better mobility instead. Oh and obviously this class is useful on an early-recruited Catherine due to a lack of different options and it coming so soon.
A lot of the problems that affect Swordmasters affect Assassins as well – while you do have 6 movement and unrestricted forest movement, you're still sacrificing a lot of killing power and forcing yourself to rely on lucky stat growths to keep up with enemy stats in the long run. The sad truth is that swords just don't have many tools available to kill enemies efficiently besides relying on crits, and as such Assassin just isn't recommended. Its mastery abilities are extremely unreliable so the only other gimmick of the class is Stealth, which while it could be used for interesting strategies where a unit gets ignored, ends up falling short by the lack of killing power.
Generally regarded as the worst of the sword-focused classes, it's ironically the best one. The trick to its success is that innate Vantage – while it is true mastering Mercenary can give you Vantage too, this way you don't have to grind class mastery and/or can equip some other skill in its place. This combined with Battalion Wrath can create a really low investment unit with a large enemy phase killing potential – examples include Alois, Seteth and Jeritza, all of whom start with Battalion Wrath and join late, so not requiring mastering Mercenary is a good boon. Other than this, the other reason to go into this class is for the useful mastery ability: Defiant Strength's 8 Str boost is very significant when a large portion of offense happens on Player Phase, or just to boost a wrath/vantage setup. You can calculate damage taken or use something like Blessing to get within the threshold then just don't get hit and reap the benefits with something like Hunter's Volley or Fierce Iron Fist. Overall, a really good situational class that gets underrated.
People think that efficient players just dismiss armors automatically and that they're near worthless. In 3H however, there are good incentives to having one character be a Fortress Knight – namely so that the player can pump all of their defense boosters and their best +Prt battalions into one unit, and that combined with their 17 Def base and +10 Def modifier gives you a LOT of protection, which is not to be underestimated (for a good example, Edelgard in Cindered Shadows with a Steel Shield). Generally the unit you want to make a Fortress Knight is also your Grappler/War Master, as these 3 usually coincide with the rank requirements and are boons of the people inclined to go into them. It depends on the situation at hand, but don't underestimate the power of potentially just outright tanking hits with no additional help required from other units. For units not interested in going into the class, it can still be worth certifying for the 35 HP 17 Def bases if you can afford to spend the skill ranks.
You've probably heard the Wyvern Emblem memes – and they're only half exaggerated. This class combines ease of access (seriously you can pass this at C axe C flight if you rig the exam) with good stat modifiers coupled with the most powerful weapon type – a recipe for success. The growths are good too for what that's worth, but overall the question to ask yourself is "Why shouldn't a unit be a Wyvern?". The class is usually better for female units due to their access to Darting Blow (unless the male unit has something like Swift Strikes), but generally it just works really well. Bow weakness isn't a major issue as not only are there items to negate it but you can also dismount after moving and mount before moving. Seal Defense isn't too useful generally but it has situational use against monsters, so it's up to the player's discretion. The main limiting factor is the utility of other classes, only having access to flying battalions and flying adjutants, which limits your options. As such, you don't actually want TOO many Wyverns, as it has diminishing returns over having a bit more variety. Still, 4-5 is a fine number and even if a unit doesn't plan on going Wyvern Lord in the end, this is a good side class to have.
With Wyverns being overall better at combat and being easier to access, what does Paladin have to offer? Besides having higher damage with lances, which is potentially relevant for things like Swift Strikes, the main advantage is that they have access to ground battalions which are generally better and have some unique gambits like Impregnable Wall, as well as ground adjutants – namely Guard Adjutants, allowing them to tank certain enemies that'd otherwise flat out kill. Another thing is that on maps which don't limit your mobility a lot, the movement type advantage of wyverns is mitigated, so paladin can match it while being grounded. It's also useful for someone like Dimitri who wouldn't want to go into Wyvern Lord due to the high rank investment but still wants a good mobility option for his offense that isn't stat reliant – other examples of this are Leonie and Bernadetta. One other use for the class is if you have someone who you only need for non-combat utility like rallies or gambit usage, then the high movement is really useful for them.
With Wyvern Rider, Paladin, Grappler, and then later War Master existing, there is no real reason to consider this as an end class for a character, since the aforementioned outclass Warrior in just about every way. The only real reason to go into this class outside of some very specific strat is mastering it for Wrath, which while not the easiest thing to get because of the certification requirement, is worth it for Vantage/Wrath setups.
The main draw of this class is its mastery combat art – Fierce Iron Fist, which allows you to hit an enemy 3 times in a row with a gauntlet. Given that on Maddening you won't be doubling most enemies, this is very useful and even though War Master has Crit +20, this class is overall better for player phase nuking (FIF boosts crit by 10 so at the end you have better chances of critting as a Grappler once in 3 strikes than as a War Master once in 2 strikes). It also has no movement penalty through forests, meaning it's a mobile class, moreso than Sniper. With enough offense stacking you'll ORKO most enemies that aren't in a suit of armor or a monster, and even for monsters you debatably could with crits. A really good class overall and you really need to consider whether to end as this or as a War Master.
Just like Grappler, you're in this class for the mastery – Hunter's Volley. The ability to shoot a bow twice in a row regardless of what bow it is is amazing, especially when stacked with something like a Killer Bow+. Sniper has lower mobility than Grappler but can shoot at longer distances (2-4 range), so you have better reach overall. Once again, stack offensive skills on a Sniper and watch enemies die in one round of combat – even on 0% growths really. Crit stacking heavily encouraged, as Hunter's Volley also gives +10 crit in addition to +1 might +15 hit.
Yet another case of magic classes being "boring but reliable", doubling black magic uses and adding +5 damage to them (but not dark magic!) is just really useful. However, this class is overall not worth staying in once master classes become available – Gremory has more movement at equal black magic uses but doubled white magic uses and only losing out on 3 damage, and Dark Knight has superior mobility and is much preferred by the male mages over Warlock. Bowbreaker isn't that amazing either since mages struggle with dodging and you don't really need extra hit on bow units as they're not dodgey. So it's a good transitional class but overall you should continue working towards one of the mentioned master classes.
Basically a Hubert-only class, since other dark magic users can't even access this class (lol Jeritza) and the black magic users much prefer the offense and spell use boost of Warlock. Lifetaker isn't that great of an ability overall since it's mainly on magic units which are rather squishy and you can usually find something better to use. Heartseeker is nice utility for some bosses though, so Hubert can get value out of that before going into Dark Knight. Just a really meh class.
Between White Magic Uses x2 and White Magic Heal +10, this is the ultimate supportive class for your team. Your main team healer should be in this class, as the White Magic Heal +10 coupled with Healing Staff and having 10 physic uses allows you to top off basically anyone at large distances. Doubling the uses of Warp is also really good. While more offensively inclined female units should consider moving into Gremory, designated healers should just stick to this class.
Unique Classes 2: Electric Boogaloo
Classes that certain units unlock for free as you progress through the story. Click here for a full list.
Edelgard's unique classes, they are meant to mirror a Fortress Knight with less def but 1 more move. However Armored Lord only has a +5 Def modifier, and given that on Maddening you want as much def as possible to tank remotely well, the class is just straight up bad. Emperor only loses 2 Def compared to Fortress Knight, but at the point it comes the map design doesn't favor armored classes anymore, so overall these classes are not worth bothering with.
Dimitri's unique classes, they sacrifice the mobility of a Paladin to get a better speed modifier. This is not a worthwhile trade though, as on Maddening Dimitri will not be doubling anyway and his main form of offense is the Battalion Wrath + Battalion Vantage setup, so the mobility of a Paladin is preferred – not to mention that even dismounted Paladin has equal move to a Great Lord. The mastery combat art of Great Lord – Paraselene, while useful, could just be replicated with Canto instead. Overall the most I can say about these classes is that High Lord makes Chapter 13 a pain.
Claude's unique classes, and they're basically Wyvern Rider/Lord that traded its usage of axes for bows and has overall slightly worse modifers. Overall really solid classes just due to the fact you get them for free and Claude mains bows. If you're going for a dodgetank Claude build though you want to go into Wyvern Lord as it has the Avo +10 ability which Barbarossa lacks. Wind God is quite handy if you get it since Claude lacks long-range bow combat arts, so it's basically a better Deadeye. Not really as OP as people make it out to be but getting it for free is definitely really nice. Also it being Claude's class for Chapter 13 really helps.
Byleth's unique class, the most notable thing about it is getting it for free and being able to use magic, allowing Byleth to use Heal and Recover. That's about all the useful spells Byleth has though, and otherwise there's no real reason to use these classes over the other classes like Wyvern Lord. Its mastery ability of Sacred Power is really good, but nothing too essential so if you don't feel like spending time mastering it it can be ignored. It just suffers from the same things that hinder other sword classes and even the Sublime Creator Sword can't fully salvage the situation, as that could just be used in a Wyvern class.
Jeritza's unique class, you can think of it as a Paladin with 1 less movement but better modifiers. Considering his base proficiencies and stats this is very much viable as his final class, though given the final 2 maps of CF you should consider making him a Wyvern. The mastery of Counterattack really speaks for itself, though it's worth noting that it could be not worth it if you have a lot of Retribution uses and as such don't have to worry about the timer. Still, you can't really go wrong with this class and the satisfaction of being able to use it is definitely there.
Classes that units can start certifying for at level 30. Click here for a full list.
Me adding a fifth Wyvern Lord to my team
Basically Wyvern Rider but strictly better and the best class in the game overall. At +4 Str and Spd with 8 movement and good HP/Def to boot, there's not much to say that hasn't been said for Wyvern Rider already. Defiant Crit is a really good mastery too, since it's a really strong player phase offense boost, bumping your crit to 100 when stacked further. The drawbacks of flier battalions and flier adjutants still apply here, so do consider it and don't add TOO many of these to your team, since it starts becoming a lot worse after around 5 or so.
The other flier master class and it's a lot worse than Wyvern Lord overall, due to having 3 less strength and using lances which generally have lower might than axes, making them not as desirable. The main use for this class is either for mastering it for Defiant Avoid for a dodgetank build or on units that struggle to get into Wyvern Lord but have good lance combat arts – the only real examples of this are Bernadetta and Marianne, though for the latter it's an off-build and for Bernie it's merely one of her many possible class choices. And even for someone like Bernie, it's mainly a matter of convenience. Others just prefer the strength boost of Wyvern Lord way too much.
Yet another case of a hybrid class being bad. Not only are swords bad on Maddening but now we have a class that half focuses on swords and half on magic and becomes bad at both. If you're using swords you're better off as an Assassin or Hero (or even better, Wyvern Lord) and if you're using magic you're better off as a Gremory or Dark Knight. This class has nothing going for it, even its mastery is meme. Just don't bother.
This is supposed to be the upgrade to Fortress Knight but realistically reaching it is really hard, due to insanely high certification requirements. It's mainly just Fortress Knight but more mobile, but at the point this becomes available it's not as useful. Paladin can be certified easier and if you really need a tank then staying in Fortress Knight is honestly preferred since you can focus your rank instructions into more relevant skill areas. Only really worth it on Gilbert since he can feasibly reach the ranks, or as a meme off-meta build on Felix when stacked with Pavise/Aegis. Defiant Def is just bad, at that HP threshold you'll likely die anyways.
The class combines high mobility with really high attack range, what can possibly go wrong? Turns out, the offense part. Unless you have Point-Blank Volley to turn the class into basically a different version of Swift Strikes Paladin, or are using it for utility things like Bernadetta's Encloser while maining Vengeance for damage output, it's worse than Sniper just because Hunter's Volley is broken. Brave bows don't have the stats to compensate for the offense loss, so most units on Maddening don't want to go into this class. Another reason to go into the class is if you want a Vantage/Wrath setup without relying on Retribution, but note the range hit penalty that bows have. Defiant Spd can be useful but generally with low HP strats you're trying to avoid counters, and while Defiant Speed can help you double attack, you want things that don't depend on your stats to be as reliable as possible.
Magic units who focus more on offense and non-mobility/Physic spell utility usually want to end as this class. Between good mobility both mounted and dismounted as well as both Black and Dark Tomefaires, it covers offense really well and allows for hit-and-run strats, especially with range-extending skills and staves. Also useful if using combat arts like Frozen Lance, 1-range healing spells like Recover, or utility gambits like Dance of the Goddess or Blessing. A really cool class which, while you need to weigh it against Gremory depending on unit, is really good when Gremory doesn't provide enough utility for a unit from doubled spell uses.
Take everything that makes Dark Knight good besides the mobility and make it bad. Faith offensive magic is nowhere near as good as Reason spells, so even a unit like Marianne would prefer Dark Knight over Holy Knight if going for a more offensive build. If going for more support then Bishop or Gremory are preferable for their doubled magic uses and better healing, so the only real use this class has is if you want to end as a Dark Knight, but didn't have time to build up sufficient reason rank yet and are already level 30 – for example magic-based Bernadetta for the Physic/Rescue mounted utility. Other than that case, don't bother since even the mastery ability is bad.
The biggest assets of the class are it's +5 magic modifier and doubled spell uses for every spell type. This makes it great for female mages who want high uses on their spells like Warp, Luna, or Meteor. With 5 movement it's better than the advanced classes, since being stuck at 4 movement is not preferable if you can avoid it. The choice of Gremory vs. Dark Knight vs. Bishop is really unit and role dependant but you can't really go wrong with putting a magic unit in Gremory. Defiant Mag is also really good if you can set it up as it boosts damage significantly while also boosting Physic/Warp/Rescue range.
Whereas Grappler is more heavily focused on player phase offense, this class is more focused on the enemy phase. Between Crit +20, +5 Str, and a Vantage/Wrath setup you can guarantee OHKOing on the enemy phase if you can stack your crit and hit to 100. Alternatively, after mastering Quick Riposte you get to ignore enemy Attack Speed and double them anyway, which should be combined with Retribution. So the question becomes whether you need better enemy phase in War Master or better player phase in Grappler with gauntlets. It's worth mentioning two other things – War Master does not have unrestricted forest movement like Grappler does, and War Master Strike with sufficient strength and a really high might axe like Devil Axe+ or Freikugel you can potentially OHKO enemies, so you need to calculate which is more preferable. However mastering Master Classes takes a long time, so generally you're better off sticking to Grappler for player phase offense.
These classes require the paid DLC which I generally avoided mentioning in this guide since not everyone has it, but they're worth discussing if you do have it. Click here for a full list.
This class is intended to be focused on healing utility combined with Foul Play and Stealth for positioning shenanigans. However in the main game, unlike Cindered Shadows, you actually have access to more powerful positioning options in Stride, mobility Combat Arts, Warp/Rescue, or even just having better canto units – not to mention Foul Play really requires the Fetters of Dromi to work properly. Other than that this class' offense is abysmal, it only has halved magic uses and Duelist's Blow is really not worth it since if you're dodgetanking you're doing it on enemy phase, so just don't bother.
Meant as a hybrid between a magic user and a fist fighter, it unsurprisingly fails at both. It shares the issue of halved magic uses with Trickster and has worse modifiers and abilities for physical offense – no Fierce Iron Fist or +5 Str and Crit +20. Pneuma Gale isn't even worth it on magic-inclined units as those would prefer Aura Gauntlets + Fierce Iron Fist. Brawl Avo +20 is useful if you're building a gauntlet-based dodgetank, so this is the one reason to go into the class. Even females who otherwise have no Fistfaire class options don't really like it since it's just so lacking in everything.
Finally a good DLC class, this is the mounted magical class before level 30. Having +4 magic, 6 movement, and Black/Dark Magic Range +1 while being grounded makes this a very good choice for any female mage to consider going into. The mastery ability of Uncanny Blow is really good and can replace Hit +20 training if you prefer to not build bow rank then be an adjutant. This class overall gets obsoleted by Dark Knight but it's very nice in-between class before it – or if you just want the class mastery you can go into Gremory or Dark Flier later. Really good addition to the game.
Relive the Awakening glory days for 25 dollars, galeforce excluded. In all seriousness, this is a really useful class as 7 movement with flying and being able to use spells is really handy, but it has it's limitations. The main one is that there only exists one battalion that gives +Mag and is flying – Nuvelle Fliers Corps which gives +7 Mag. If you don't have that battalion and/or are a dark magic user, you lose way too much offensive power as the class has no magic modifier and no Dark Tomefaire, only Black, so while this is a really useful class to have on your team, you generally want to stick to only one of it.
And with that, we've covered every single class in Three Houses – they have their highs and lows but there's a surprising amount of depth to it beyond just "spam Wyverns". I hope the guide was clear enough to comprehend and if you have any comments or disagreements about the assessments, post them in the comments below.