Part 21: Ep 20: Armor-hunting SeasonsvChapter 8: Dragon Knights of Thracia Part 1
Welcome back to Let's Play FE4 Binary. This time, we tackle chapter 8, where there shall be dragons knights... only a bit later. And not for very long.
During the opening scene, we get a look at Travant and Areone's FE5 portraits. I'll say, Travant's hair looks better shaded here than in Thracia 775! Areone looks fine too, for someone who took a bucket of paint on the head.
And there goes the Lenster trio. They really enjoy defending Lenster by themselves, for some reason.
The Vendor in this chapter is completely empty! No Iron Lance, and no Wind tome. Again.
Well, let's get to the Arena, then.
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +7 HP, +3 Str, +1 Mgc, +5 Skl, +2 Spd, +2 Lck, +4 Def, +1 Res
Pretty big jump in Skill there. I'll be underlining the stats that were capped during the Arena, as we're approaching the part of the game where characters start maxing stats left and right.
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +1 HP, +2 Str, +3 Mgc, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +1 Lck, +3 Def, +1 Res.
What are you, and what have you done with Julia?
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +9 HP, +4 Str, +1 Mgc, +2 Spd, +3 Lck, +3 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +7 HP, +1 Str, +4 Spd, +4 Lck, +1 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +7 HP, +2 Str, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +5 Lck, +2 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +5 HP, +3 Str, +4 Mgc, +2 Skl, +1 Spd, +3 Lck, +1 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +2 HP, +3 Str, +3 Skl, +2 Spd, +2 Lck, +2 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 3 levels, +4 HP, +2 Str, +2 Skl, +1 Spd, +2 Lck, +2 Def
I honestly had to save-scum Shanan's levels so that he wouldn't just get three HP-Skl in a row.
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +5 HP, +2 Mgc, +3 Skl, +2 Spd, +3 Lck, +1 Res
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +4 HP, +2 Mgc, +1 Skl, +4 Spd, +4 Lck, +1 Def
Did I mention Delmud and Nanna had capped Strength even before this chapter's Arena?
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +4 HP, +2 Str, +3 Mgc, +4 Skl, +2 Lck, +2 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +5 HP, +1 Str, +3 Mgc, +4 Skl, +4 Spd, +5 Lck, +3 Def, +1 Res
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +5 HP, +3 Str, +2 Mgc, +2 Skl, +4 Spd, +3 Lck, +1 Def, +1 Res
Ah, finally she's starting to get some offensive stats.
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +2 HP, +2 Str, +4 Skl, +4 Spd, +1 Lck, +5 Def
I'm a bit sad that he ended up 40 EXP away from promotion. But on the other hand, +4 Skl is just fantastic on Johan.
: Arena Completed, Gained 1 level, +1 HP, +1 Str, +1 Lck
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +5 HP, +4 Str, +1 Mgc, +3 Skl, +3 Spd, +1 Lck, +3 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +6 HP, +2 Str, +6 Skl, +4 Spd, +2 Lck, +1 Def, +1 Res
That's one way to ram the Skill cap.
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +3 HP, +2 Str, +3 Mgc, +5 Spd, +4 Lck, +2 Def, +5 Res
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +6 HP, +5 Str, +1 Mgc, +1 Skl, +3 Spd, +3 Lck, +2 Def, +2 Res
Thankfully for me, pawn shop clerks can instantly receive the Paragon Ring from half a country away, so Leif and friends could train at home.
Nanna is also ready to promote, so she's going to be heading to Alster and back up before the big brawl here.
As far as Arena enemies go, they mostly changed their Iron equipment to Steel, and their Steel to Killer. Fate, a random Thunder Mage, became a dismounted Mage Knight and lost his Shield Ring. Louis, the guy on the right, went from Myrmidon to Free Fighter and swiched to axes.
The Killer weapons can be a tad annoying, but all my characters have some cheap tricks up their sleeves.
For instance, the Beo Sword's Vantage+Wrath combo works wonders here.
Somewhere in there, I also swapped Leif and Shanan's Iron Sword and Steel Blade. Because why on earth does the skinniest guy in our team start equipped with a giant slab of metal?
Before starting the map proper, we have two promotions on the way. First off, we have Delmud because Paragon.
[As a side-note, from now on, the stats colored yellow in level-up screens are capped, so you can better see how our army is evolving. And since promotion gains = the caps difference between classes, a stat maxed before promotion stays maxed after it.]
His default promotion is to Forrest Knight. It gives outrageous Skl/Spd bonuses, as well as +1 Move, and Adept. The Str Bonus is a bit low, but with his axes he should be mighty fine.
Also of note, he gets a shield normally reserved to Paladins, and that color scheme looks pretty great with the Devil Axe.
His alternate promotion, Mercenary, gives really good bonuses, especially in Strength. It provides him with Pursuit, +5 Crit and boosts his Sword and Axe ranks up to A... if he didn't have that already. The price? -1 Mov.
Delmud's special promotion choice is to become a Paladin. It doesn't give as many stat boosts as the other two promotions, and no skills, but it gives +1 Mov and B Lances... that's important, right? Points for the nice color contrast with his Forrest Knight promotion, but that's about it.
I'll stick to Forrest Knight for Delmud. High skill works great with Axes, and eventually he will need Adept to attack more often. Mercenary is pretty tempting, but I'd rather keep all my Charisma/Leadership units mounted. As for Paladin, I really don't see the point, unless you go for Azel!Delmud and want to give him magic swords.
Next up is Oifey! At least all that stolen experience from random crits will serve a purpose.
His default promotion is, big surprise, to become a Paladin once again. Decent stat boosts to Skl/Spd, no new skills, +1 Mov.
Alternate choice: he can become a Duke Knight, just like Finn. A big attack boost, no new skills, but A Sword/Lances, and +1 Mov.
Also, that's Alec's shield he's using there.
Now, his special promotion is a bit more interesting. By promoting to an Iron Knight, Oifey loses out on Skl/Spd/Mov bonuses, but gets Great Shield and becomes much, much beefier. It also makes him vulnerable to the Blaggi Sword, but you really don't see those too often.
I'll go with the last promotion, as it fits Oifey's role (protecting Seliph) and is much more unique than another damn Paladin or Duke Knight. It also helps that I'd like a more capable mounted tank than Arden.
Hurray for a return to linearity! This part of the map goes back to the basics: characters to rescue quickly from a distance, a looming threat to our home castle, and villages threatened by... axe knights? Not really bandits, but close enough. Also, we get to face the Magi Sisters again.
Teeny is still in training as well as the Paragon Ring bearer. So off to Lenster she goes, for some Thunderstorm/Blizzard fun.
Fee and Arthur's group will be dealing with the armors. The others will ride north to support Lenster.
Not-Chagall, aka Muhammad, has a pretty straightfoward bunch of troops. Steel Lances and Bows for the armors, Brave weapons for himself, and a Fortify Bishop just in case. The only thing new is a Lightning tome for the Bishop.
Expect to see that screen a lot, this update.
Attacking Lenster is Ovo, with a bunch of Lance Knights, some of them packing Horseslayers. Three of his Troubadours became Mage Knights with either Elthunder/Rapier or Tron/Silver Sword. The others Troubadours have Rapiers as well.
In case it wasn't obvious, this is the "anti Finn soloing" squad.
And the Magi Sisters are right behind them. They have a Leg Ring each, but otherwise, the same stats as last chapter.
Arthur starts things off with both a bang, and a fantastic level.
Can't say the same about Julia. At least that's Magic capped for her.
Larcei seems to be fleeing that stat like the plague, though. Maybe I'll give her Thunder Sword to somebody who actually cares about magic.
See what happens when I don't hold Shanan's hand? HP-Skl, all the time.
Here, you know what? I declare that this shall be very first "Everybody Hurt Shanan" Day.
Good to see their commander agrees to target Shanan as well. Two misses, but it's the thought that counts.
Only prolonging the inevitable, there.
Meanwhile, in Lenster, there's a bad storm coming in.
Long-range critting, and capping speed. That's my Teeny.
And Lana just does her stuff. I think her and Seliph are the only guys we have with such balanced sets of stats.
One Sylvia dance later, and Nanna is off to Alster for promotion.
I thought the Devil Sword would work well on her. She's got ridiculous HP and Luck, plus she could use the additionnal firepower.
Anyways, her regular promotion is still Paladin. Since she's coming from the Troubadour class, Nanna gets some pretty good boosts, despite the Paladin's low caps. No new skills, but +1 Mov and a useless proficiency in Lances.
Just like Ethlyn, her alternate choice is to become a Mage Knight. It's a really attractive boost to Mgc, and Mage Knights can get up to 25, which is great for a mounted class. Other than that, she gets +1 Mov, and a nice B rank Anima.
However, with the scarcity of tomes, I'd rather have my mages well-equipped than have everything spread between my team members. She's already a physical attacker, staff user, and charisma bot. No need to add magic user to the mix, unless Azel or Lewyn is her father. If it's the latter, she should definitely go for Mage Knight to use Forseti.
Not to mention, the pink armor has moved to the Paladin side, and I shall always follow the pink armor.
While Nanna trots back up to Lenster, it's still armor-hunting season in the Alster woods. At last, Johan's promotion draws near.
That leaves the boss fully exposed for Larcei to take down. Tsss, not even a Baron.
Well, actually, he's quite more threatening than before. Brave Lance/Bow is a dangerous combination, especially with that nasty Vantage. Stats-wise, we're looking at +5~7 for Str/Lck/Def, and +3 everywhere else.
Not really challenging, but he can be a bit of a pain. Just like Chagall, actually.
However, there's just no stopping Larcei when she's in a destructive mood. Not even Great Shield could save him.
Yes, I do so enjoy putting my Fee right in the middle of a bunch of bow armors. Isn't the Critical Guard such a wonderful thing?
Speaking of bows, Faval appears on the field. I wasn't sure where that new archer map sprite was from, but apparently they took it from FE3.
Back in the forest, the battle is still raging, with Fee helping on her way to the villages and gaining the best levels.
Oww! Right in the low hit rates!
Is that guy still healing anyone, from that distance?
I suppose I deserved this one, after that lucky +4 Skl in the Arena.
If there's one thing these two lovebirds have in common, it's their deep hatred for everything magical.
Up north, the cavalry has arrived, and Ovo's squad is just in range to get destroyed.
Leif and Seliph open the ball with some interpretative dance.
And that's capped skill for Seliph. Come on, Leif, you can do better than that.
Lester is going to go up the cliff and snipe some dudes while Oifey guards the path to him.
Then I remembered Finn and Leif can have a talk. It's supposed to give +3 Str to Leif, but since mine already reached his cap...
I have Teeny give a taste of Blizzard to Ovo, mostly for the experience, but it also puts him to sleep. It won't change much, but it's always nice.
Anyways, this here is my Zone of Control. Between Seliph's 20% Leadership and the two Charisma siblings, anyone in there gets boosts to their dodge and hit rates. Leif and Seliph in particular are almost invincible.
No really, just look at those enemy hit rates. None of them managed to lay a hit on Seliph's army.
Even the overwise-threatening Magi Sisters can barely reach 20% against them.
And this guy suddenly forgot about healing Ovo's troops. That's why you don't give attack tomes to the enemy AI. It makes them a bit harder to kill, but they completely lose sight of their priorities.
Johan and Larcei will be heading back to Alster for their promotion next update. Meanwhile, Arthur and friends go up, trying to scrounge up some more EXP.
The Lady Sword has no effectiveness against axe knights, so I suppose wind magic will have to do.
And now, to turn all this pleasant company into a fresh pile of corpses...
Nanna leads the charge with her trusty Devil Sword. (I suppose 2% chance of backfiring is low enough to be called "trusty?")
Let the levels flow!
A bit lower key for that last one, but Ulster capped strength, and Seliph is ready to promote.
Oifey finds the opportunity to demonstrate that even Rapiers cannot penetrate his armor. And if they did, he would only take a measly 7 damage from them.
Well, that takes care of that army, onwards to Conote!
... Oh wait, we forgot Ovo.
If he wasn't asleep and if we didn't have super Charisma powers, Ovo would be an outstanding boss, being mounted, with powerful weapons and good skills. He's received 2 more levels and ridiculous stat boosts ranging between +4 and +8. He's traded his Elthunder and Shield Ring for a Thoron and Silver Blade and is cheating on all his weapon ranks to be able to wield all that. Since Sol gives him an 18% chance to get a guarantied hit that regenerates his life, it's better to send a Nihil unit against him.
Just like Lamia with Luna, Ovo knows the Sol skill despite already possessing the corresponding Manual for it (which he drops if you didn't inherit it). It feels almost like playing Megaman, the way our units obtain the innate powers of bosses after killing them.
He'll be dead by the end of the next turn, though. And here's Ishtar coming from Manster to help her father. Note that she enters Conote as a Female Sage. As she should be, right?
Well, no. She's a Mage Fighter when she actually deploys. There are a few reasons for that class change, but we'll get to that in a minute.
First off, I need to get rid of- WOULD YOU STOP THAT?!
Just go away.
As I was saying, getting rid of Ovo. Even Patty could finish him easy. Not much profit was earned from that, but all she really needs is to reach level 20 to be awesome.
Fee finally rids the southern village of its pillager. Now it's on to the northern village, with a Power Ring, if I remember correctly.
I also need to lure Faval so he uses up all his movement and doesn't end up right next to Ishtar when I recruit him. He attacks with only his Steel Bow, for some odd reason.
A rather easy recruitment, though I'll need to get both siblings out of the way before Ishtar comes stomping in.
Here's Faval. He's a pretty bad character in Binary, mostly because legendary weapons can't be inherited anymore, so he starts with absolutely nothing that makes him stand out. On top of that, the Yewfelle will come extremely late, so until then he'll need to find himself some other niche than just being the "power archer". He'll get high HP and Luck from his Holy Blood, and balanced everything else thanks to his father.
Speaking of high Luck, have a couple of maxed Lucks.
Now, to deal with Ishtar... Vanilla Ishtar was pretty easy. Forseti hard-counters her Mjölnir pretty badly; and even in this chapter, Faval can one-shot her with the Yewfelle. That is not something you can do anymore.
Because of her new class, she's got less speed, but much more Strength and Defense. Add to that +12 HP, and she now takes beatings pretty well. The reason she was made into a Mage Fighter, other than the fact is fits with her brother's class, is so she can use swords in case you Silence her. I probably should have given the Magic Ring to Lana and done that, though. Her Blaggi Sword really isn't all that threatening against most of our units.
In vanilla FE4, her Vantage wasn't so bad unless she was under half HP AND triggered an Adept. Here, she will always attack first, still has Adept, and has a high chance to critical immediately. She can also double attack now, which is helped by having Pursuit. Her weapons ranks are also cheated for absolutely no reason, as all she needs is her Holy Blood to wield her weapons.
Fun fact: if you do silence Ishtar, she cannot keep her sword equipped outside of battle. Meaning the only time she'll be able to attack herself will be during her phase. So much for helping her in case she gets silenced...
Because I'm an idiot and can't plan ahead, I managed to keep Teeny right outside of Ishtar's Talk range, so there's no talking her out of this battle.
Seems like they can still talk just fine from half a mile away, though.
No sleep effect, this time.
There aren't a lot of characters who can safely approach Ishtar. Larcei's Blaggi Sword gives her Prayer on top of all her great skills, and Ares can heal himself with the Mysteltainn even if he gets doubled. Both weapons give +10 Res as well. So logically, I'll want to go with...
Shanan, you go get hurt some more!
That was brilliant. 63 damage isn't quite as good as what we've seen with Larcei, but it's close enough. Maybe there's still hope for the king of Isaac...
Nope, never mind.
And off she goes to Chapter 10, for after we're done waging war in Thracia.
Next objective is the pile of armors and long-range mages around the bridge to Conote.
Teeny is really doing an amazing job this map. She even activated Sol, there.
I like having Rapiers on both Nanna and Ares. These two do an outstanding job at crushing the armored frontlines.
Sadly, poor Arthur probably won't get the last few points of EXP he needs to promote. Damned that 5 Move.
I've yet to understand why long-range mages have such a deep hatred for Ulir descendants. Also note the new Iron Mage in the mage formation. He's got Great Shield and Adept, and his General partner has Great Shield and Critical. It looks like they are looking at each other, too.
Goodness gracious Teeny, what have you been drinking today?
And Ares finishes the sleepyhead for both a level and some delicious life.
Is it just me, or have we seen these two stats a lot, lately?
Leif imperatively needs to be a Master Knight by the beginning of the next chapter, so I'm feeding him most of the promoted kills.
Well, nothing much left. Bloom gives 30% Leadership to his usual General guarrison, but that's about it. They all have a Silver Lance and Steel Bow, so really nothing threatening.
And that's the last village saved. I suppose I should mention that all those axe knights have Killer Axes, so attacking from a distance is generally preferable.
I had almost forgotten Bloom has a Thunderstorm. Sure, attack the guy with a resistance-boosting sword, that's an efficient use of a turn.
Anyways, Bloom is still a pretty terrible boss. Since last map, he's gained one level and +1 in every stat (congrats for the perfect level-up!!). That's about it. No skills, and no Mjölnir this time.
He does have Dime Thunder with his Thunderstorm which could, maybe-perhaps, become problematic if we let him use it.
I won't even leave him the pleasure to use it. For the record, that's the 4th Dime Thunder user in the game, and none has been able to use his tome yet.
That's pretty weak, but at least she's finally ready to promote.
Predictably, all the Generals die painfully from critical hits.
And another unit hits level 20.
At last, Lester gets to show off exactly why I made Jamke his father. That's a 7:1 arrows ratio right there.
Larcei isn't around, and I've got Bloom completely helpless (didn't think about giving this one a physical weapon, Binary?), so I boss abuse him for the 4 turns I have left. Everyone is pretty close to level 20, after all.
Well, these two aren't really aiming for the promotion this chapter, but I can't say no to synchronized levels like that.
And another one caps the Luck. He's now ready to promote, too.
: You will give me your MONEY!
I don't know about you, but I just find these fights really comical.
That's our last unit ready to promote for this update. And it's that level again.
This lovely round of torture ends prematurely when Faval decides to be a show-off and kill his former employer. Oh well, it's a fitting end.
Well, that's about it for now. We have Seliph, Larcei, Ulster, Lana, Lester, Johan and Tinny to promote next time.
There are also a few love points to grind and items to swap, so we'll do all that in the next update.