Part 75: Jakob
And here's Jakob, our other unit. He's a staffbot (if you want), a prepromote (kind of), and even a bit of a jeigan (maybe). There's... a lot to say about this weirdo. So let's say it!
Butler (HS: Cavalier)
A+ Support Classes: Gunter (Cavalier), Silas (Cavalier)
Personal Skill: Evasive Partner (Corrin gets +15% avoid and -3 damage taken when supported by Jakob)
Growths (With Default Class):
HP: 50% (50)
STR: 30% (40)
MAG: 15% (25)
SKL: 40% (55)
SPD: 35% (50)
LCK: 45% (55)
DEF: 25% (30)
RES: 25% (35)
Pair-Up Stats (C B A S):
STR, SPD, SKL, STR + SKL
I forgot to mention earlier that which one out of Jakob and Felicia you get is decided by what gender of Corrin you pick. Girls get Jakob, which imo is yet another point in their favour! He's physically stronger and bulkier, while Felicia is more magical and a bit faster. Neither of them excel at combat in their default class, but Jakob can at least take a hit.
What really makes Jakob special is that he is a prepromote... kind of. As far as earning experience is calculated, Jakob is a level 1 unpromoted unit. His level cap is extended to 40 to make up for the fact he cannot promote, but he is still in a promoted class. So he gets to have his cake and eat it too.
As a Butler, he's... pretty good. Healing is never not important, and Butlers are unique in that their staff rank caps at S. As your first healer, Jakob is more likely than anyone else to reach S staves by the end of the game, just because he's around the longest. His combat stats are serviceable, he can tank a hit or two and debuff with his knives at 1-2 range while still dealing damage. Compared to Felicia, he'll heal less HP with staves but do better in combat with knives, at least until you can get your hands on a magic weapon. Instant access to Gentilhomme means he can Protect Girls just by standing next to them, a thing he has to do in order to heal them anyway. This stacks with his personal skill, so a Jakob adjacent to Corrin gives her a whopping 5 less damage taken in combat. It is a perfectly fine strategy to superglue Jakob's butt to Corrin's the entire game to create a main lord who is very hard to take down. When Corrin gets low on HP you can even swap them around to put Jakob in front and let him take advantage of her personal skill instead.
Where things get really interesting is when you start messing around with reclasses. A heart seal can instantly turn Jakob into either a Paladin or a Great Knight, and they have much better bases than Butlers do. If you've played Fire Emblem before then you know that having a promoted mounted unit with inflated stats in the earlygame makes things a lot easier, and unlike most jeigans Jakob will earn exp just as fast as anyone else. His growths, while not great, are good enough, and he really wants to be a physical unit more than a mixed one anyway.
Alternatively, you can creative and marry him to your avatar. He builds support with them incredibly fast, allowing you to reach S rank possibly even before chapter 10 (or chapter 8 if you're willing to build supports via the private quarters!). With a partner seal he can take whatever class Corrin picked as their talent, giving him access to insanely good promoted classes such as Malig Knight or Master Ninja if you want. A Malig Knight Jakob can get the Trample skill at level 15 "umpromoted", giving him an effective +5 damage against all nonmounted units... which is in fact most of them. It's pretty great!
There is, however, a cost to doing all of this. First of all there's a literal cost in that you'll have to buy a heart or a apartner seal, and in doing so you'll deny someone else the chance to do the same until chapter 14 when you unlock the ability to buy more. Secondly, Jakob's growths aren't all that good. He's no jeigan in the true sense, but his massive advantage will eventually peter out towards the mid/late game, leaving you with a unit who took up a large number of resources just to wind up okay. Thirdly, in S supporting Corrin, he'll give them access to the Troubadour class... which sucks. There is no reason to make your Corrin one unless you want to dress them up as a maid, and in doing so you'll have wasted an oppurtunity to give them a much better class. It's not the end of the world, but denying one of your best units an easy reclass option does hurt a little.
All that said, Jakob is still very good. With a little investment he becomes a monstrous semi-prepromote, and if you leave him be he's a perfectly competent support unit. I think he's one of the most unique units to have ever have come out of a Fire Emblem game!
Also he was called "Joker" in Japan. Even Nohrians live in a society.
- Good staff utility, competent combat utility in the earlygame
- A good candidate for using the S rank staff that lets you revive a dead unit
- Amazing versatility through reclassing, can access powerful classes and skills before anyone else can
- A great support unit for Corrin and a fast and easy S rank option
- Mediocre growths make it easy for him to turn out bad
- Low magic makes him not the best at healing
- Accessing his full potential requires a lot of investment which might not pay off late-game
Rating: He's rude to his son, F-