Thanks so much for saving me, Celica! I really thought I was gonna be worm’s food there for a bit. I mean, I’ve been through my share of tight scrapes on the battlefield, but I always had my sisters with me. So no matter how bad it got. I knew it would all work out. But this time it was just me, and it was incredibly scary. It really made me realize how much I lean on my sisters.
(Swoosh) (Sword slash) (Intro jingle) *Sigh* Oh boy. Navigating the comment section on this one is not going to be a piece of cake. However you know what will be a piece of cake? Is checking out Amino! Today’s episode is sponsored by our friends over at Amino Apps! Amino is of course the awesome fan-community app where you can check out and join sub-communities for just about any of your favorite games or series. Of course I tend to be quite partial to the Fire Emblem fan community on Amino but there are a bunch more even for Nintendo, Nintendo Switch fans or just about anything else under the sun. And if there isn’t one for the series that you’re looking for, you can even start your own and invite others to join you. I’ve spent a good amount of time on Amino sharing videos and engaging with some of you guys out there, so if you’re looking to be even further involved in the Fire Emblem fan community, Amino is definitely a great place to visit. You can ask questions, talk Heroes news or Skill Builds, take fan-made quizzes, participate in polls, and so much more.
So be sure to check out the link in the video description below. So hello and welcome back to Lucky Crit. Today we’re going to be doing another Fire Emblem Archetype episode, and the focus of today’s episode is going to be the Est archetype; This is another hotly debated archetype, but to be completely honest, what in this community isn’t hotly debated these days? Maybe we could all agree that, I don’t know, Hector’s pretty cool or something? Maybe? No? Ests are characters that usually join very late in the game at a very low level but with above average or even potentially great growth rates. This makes them difficult to train up last minute but allows them to have a lot of potential if you happen to like the particular character or need a replacement if you’ve lost someone in your army.
Most Ests have pretty consistent growth rates throughout, but also tend to lack in one or two decent stats, generally HP and Defense, as they can be quite frail. A lot of the more hardcore and experienced members of the community would certainly make the argument that Est characters are just not viable to use. They require too much effort, too late in the game, and always when you have other units that are either on-par with the potential of the Est character or just slightly worse but who’ve been utilized throughout the entire playthrough or at least had more of an opportunity up to that point to be useful.
They’d argue that It’s just a waste to focus on them, and a distraction from the actually useful units. But I also know that there are a good amount of players in the community that do enjoy using Est characters. Whether it’s because these are some of their favorite units or because they don’t mind allocating that extra time, effort, and attention to them, Or perhaps they feel that the overall better unit, regardless of how long they’ll use that unit for, is worthwhile to them. I do also want to mention that a major gripe that some players have with these “archetypes” in general is that some of these can get pretty vague as far as requirements go, like with the Est archetype basically just requiring that the unit join late, have low bases, good growths, and so on, meanwhile there are other characters in the cast that in some cases will join even later and could have higher growths or debatably more potential … so how can we really define how good they have to be to be an Est or just how late they need to join? An example of this would be Ewan and Knoll from The Sacred Stones.
Knoll joins later and technically speaking has the potential to be more of an Est with his fairly comparable growths, but even though Ewan is also a trainee unit, he’s still the commonly accepted Est character. Some players will even argue that the Est archetype doesn’t exist at all, or at the very least that not as many characters really apply to this archetype as previously thought. So it can definitely get messy, but I think it’s still worth discussing. For this episode we’ll just be focusing on the most commonly accepted Est units, at least as far as I’ve seen people arguing over online, with a few here or there that are a bit more questionable.
Before we get into things though I just want to give you a quick heads up with this video, a lot of these characters, being considered a part of this archetype are recruited way late into their respective games and as such there may be some spoilers at the very least revealing their recruitable status and obviously that you’ll be getting them later on. I’m not going to go into any hardcore game spoilers here though, as I generally don’t like doing that sort of thing. I feel like you guys should still get to experience these games fresh if you haven’t yet. So keep in mind there will be some minor character reveal spoilers here from games all throughout the series, and we will also be mentioning what chapter you get them in, but generally speaking you’ll also know that you’ll get them later in the game, so keep that in mind.
But that’s gonna be about it. So let’s begin! Of course starting things off is the original Est herself, who’s present in Fire Emblem 1, 2, 3, (11, 12, 15). Those being Marth’s games and their remakes as well as Gaiden and it’s remake Echoes, because they all take place within the same world and during a similar timeframe. In Fire Emblem 1, Shadow Dragon and the Sword of Light, Est joined in Chapter 18, fairly late into the game. She was pretty much the average of her sisters as far as her bases went, and while she was recruited at level 5 while Catria was recruited at level 3, her even later join time didn’t really mitigate any of her issues since Catria was available four chapters earlier. She did however have the highest Strength growth of her sisters at an impressive 70% and the second best Speed growth at 70% as well.
Though she was a little bit more frail in terms of HP and Defense, she was definitely much more consistent overall. Availability-wise though, Palla and Catria were far more useful. Hence the beginning of what is now the Est archetype. In Shadow Dragon, Fire Emblem 11, the remake of Fire Emblem 1, Growths were recalculated quite a bit with Est taking a hit in some areas like Strength and Speed, likely in an attempt to make her a bit more balanced.
She retained her position as the sister with the most balanced growth rates, but her sisters also received improved growths in many areas, leading to Est’s advantages over them waning quite a bit. She can be reclassed this time around into some other potentially useful classes though, that can utilize her great growth rates like the myrmidon class, so that’s always an option. In Gaiden, Est had some of the most impressive stats of the Pegasus Knights, boasting some of the highest growth rates in the game, even though she was recruited at level 3 pretty late into the player’s journey after already having recruited her sisters, this time both at higher levels.
She would have had pretty great bases if she’d been recruited earlier, but due to her timing, her bases are pretty poor. In Echoes she remains mostly the same as her Gaiden counterpart, with some added Hp, Attack, Speed, and Luck % to her growth rates, though her sisters got a much bigger leap in their growth rates than she did, lending to her once again being a bit more average than her original incarnation. In these games though she might still be more worthwhile to train up and level up than other units in this archetype due to Falconknights dealing effective damage against monsters and also being able to fly and avoid the rather awful terrain maps throughout Celica’s journey, so there is still a large amount of potential in her as a unit if you’re willing to baby her and give her a little bit of extra attention to catch her up to speed, as the archetype in general tends to require.
In Marth’s second game, Mystery of the Emblem and its remake on the DS, New Mystery of the Emblem (Fire Emblem 3 and 12) once more Est is recruited far later than her sisters, with Catria being recruited Chapter 2 and Palla being recruited Chapter 3 respectively. Est will not join until much later in Chapter 15 at level 5 with incredibly low stats for that point in the game. She’s perhaps even less redeemable than before, with the player having recruited Palla at level 10 much earlier on in the story and with all of your units potentially well into their upgraded classes at this point. In the remake all of their bases remained the same, though all of them together did receive some minor increases in growth rates across the board. Delthea from Fire Emblem 2 and 15 (Gaiden and Echoes) is a character that I’ve seen a bunch of people throw around as a potential Est.
She’s recruited very late in the story at the end of Alm’s Chapter 3 at a time when all of your other units should be promoted and while she would have had good bases if she joined much earlier, once again due to the timing they’re quite bad. As far as her growths go, she has very impressive Attack and Speed, boasting the best Attack in the game for a mage, and even the best Speed unless you made Kliff into a mage, though her HP and Defense growths are a bit more frail than the others (like Est herself, being a total glass cannon) and considering Magic costs HP in Gaiden and Echoes, that’s not the best.
She also doesn’t get Thunder to be able to attack from 3 spaces away, though she does eventually get Ragnarok, a spell that Celica is the only other unit that can use. And it is a very powerful spell, but for some it will be too little, too late. But I will say that she has a lot of potential to be dealing more magic damage than your other mages will be, so there is still some decent potential in her if given the opportunity, so I would honestly consider her an Est character because of this.
I’ve also seen some who would consider Jesse from Gaiden and Echoes to be an Est, which is interesting given his history with her. Jesse is recruited midway through Chapter 3 of Celica’s route and boasts some of the more oddball growth rates of the Dread fighters, with a focus on Luck at the expense of of his bulk, but does have more Skill and Speed than Saber, though Saber has far greater availability being recruited very early on and is pretty essential to the early part of Celica’s route so you’ll be very likely to use him. Kamui will be much slower than Jesse but will also likely boast more attack, and even though they are fairly similar, once again Kamui’s early join time is really what lends to him being a better pick than Jesse. Granted it’s never bad to have more Dread fighters these games, but he’s definitely the worst of the bunch when it comes to his bases and join time.
You’ll also have the potential of getting Deen around the same time as Jesse, who is actually a really great pre-promote with some solid bases and growths right out of the gate so Jesse is unfortunately pretty forgettable. His growths also aren’t super amazing when compared to the others, but he does have the best Skill, Speed, and Luck growths of the bunch, and he’s pretty consistent overall, which is something a lot of Est characters seem to be. Coirpre (or Corpul in Japanese) and Charlot from FE 4 Genealogy of the Holy War, are also what many fans would consider to be Est characters. As typical for these units, Coirpre joins very late in Chapter 9 and is extremely underleveled, though he does have a high staff rank no matter his parentage and staves give great amounts of EXP, so he is still somewhat usable. His growths will depend upon his father character, but if given one of the better options of father characters like Claud, Alec, or Lewyn, he’ll have some pretty solid growths rates as well as the ability to inherit the Forseti if his father is indeed Lewyn.
Charlot is Coirpre’s substitute character, appearing only if Coirpre’s mother Sylvia was not paired up in the first part of the game. Charlot comes with the Elite or Paragon skill, providing him with double exp as well as the Berserk staff, though he will have slightly worse stat growths than Coirpre due to his parentage, but a lot of fans still prefer him and consider him to be much better than Corpul. Miranda from Chapter 16B of Thracia 776 is also another unit that fits the Est build quite well, though she does have her fair share of issues, too.
She isn’t really suited to be a Mage Knight but that’s her promotional path, and lacking the ability to use staves hurts her quite a bit. She really doesn’t gain much from being able to use swords with her pitiful strength growth, poor defense, and low build which allows swords to weigh her down. She certainly has the low base stats of most Ests and while she does sport some impressive growths in areas like Magic and Speed, alongside Wrath as her personal skill, even all of that doesn’t quite fix things for her and certainly doesn’t magically turn her into a great unit. Her late join time is once again another downfall, as she has a high bar to reach to be on par with your other mages.
She could be a potential wielder of Meteor though, due to her fire weapon rank starting at C and especially with her promotional gains, however. Then there’s Sara. Encountered in Chapter 16B or 17A, Sara in Thracia is a debatable Est as she’s pretty useful right off the bat and even without gaining any experience at all. She has a B rank in staves to begin with and is also the exclusive user of the the Kia staff, so that might make her less of an Est archetype character. She’s also got the paragon skill for double exp, Wrath which allows her to always crit when on the defense, and Prayer which is essentially the predecessor to the Miracle skill.
She also has access to good sage promotional bonuses that can patch up her stats. So while she does fit the low bases, high growths and late recruitment theme, there’s also more of a reason to use her than normal. She’s definitely a weird mix. Another character that tends to get brought up a lot as an Est character is Sophia in Fire Emblem 6, due to her late recruitment, horrible bases, and decent growths. But in all honesty she lacks a lot of what makes the other Ests arguably usable. Sophia’s bases are absolutely terrible, which is only compounded by her late recruitment time. Though her growths are pretty good by Fire Emblem 6 standards, her 30% Speed growth and a base Speed of 4 over halfway through the game alongside ony having a bit of extra Magic and Resistance on Raigh isn’t much of an advantage. Other bummers like low Constitution and bad accuracy alongside a very challenging recruitment map have lead a lot of players to just bench her and even call her one of the worst units in the series.
Ouch. So I don’t know how that fares for her being a true Est. With the proper amount of effort she could certainly be decent, but it’s going to take even more work, effort, and prayers to the RNG goddess than most of the rest of the Ests. Maybe that makes her God tier Est. Is that how that works? (I don’t know) There is another more likely candidate, though, in Zeiss. Zeiss is a Wyvern rider recruited during Chapter 16 of Binding Blade. He’s a pretty good unit with some actually good base stats. Even on Hard Mode his bases are insanely good so that could disqualify him in some peoples’ minds. His growths can also lend him to becoming on par with or even better than other units like his sister Miledy, though she does tend to be faster while he’ll likely have the higher strength. He does also come with a D rank in lances though, which is a bit of a downfall and will take some extra effort to resolve. Compared to some of the other Ests we’ve mentioned though, he’s certainly a lot easier to train and won’t be requiring as much investment. He’s not clearly better than Miledy though even with long-term investment due to his lower speed and time of recruitment, so he could be a bit problematic for the Est archetype though many do consider him to be a part of it.
Next is Nino from Fire Emblem 7, The Blazing Blade. Nino is one of the more classic examples of this archetype, joining extremely late in Chapter 23 of Eliwood’s route or Chapter 24 in Hector’s Route. She comes at a very low level but also with the classic high growths. Due to her exceedingly late join time she can be quite a pain to train, but as per usual she will have a lot of potential if you like her or need another good mage. If you do feel like putting in the work to train her she’ll have the potential to be better than Erk and Pent stat-wise, even if you promote her pretty early. But Pent does come with the important A rank in staves, and much better Constitution, so once again it’ll probably come down to whether or not you like her as a character. Recruited in Chapter 10 or 12 of Eirika and Ephraim’s routes respectively in Fire Emblem 8: The Sacred Stones, Ewan is another questionable Est character. A lot of people in the community do believe him to be an Est, but his join time isn’t that late and with the capability of engaging in skirmishes in the world map or training in the tower of valni, he can certainly be brought up to speed with some effort.
A similar character to Ewan would be Donnel from Fire Emblem Awakening, and I’ll mention it later, but I don’t really consider Donnel to be an Est. He’s also a trainee unit which I feel is just sort of a different archetype or subgroup of characters entirely. Of course he does have the low bases, later-ish recruitment, and solid growths of other units in this archetype, though. Knoll, as I mentioned earlier, is another one that I think fits the Est archetype a little bit more closely. Joining a bit later in the game after Chapter 14, Knoll comes as a level 10 Shaman with some pretty poor bases for the time of his recruitment.
His growths are good in some areas, like HP and Magic but very poor in other areas like Defense and Luck. He can be pretty useful as a summoner with ability to summon phantoms for his protection or healing other units from the backlines though he will certainly need to have his staff rank raised all the way from E rank. His Phrantoms should be able to more damage to enemy units than Ewan’s, too. So there is certainly potential in raising him but I’d say this is another debatable Est as well. I’ve also seen some arguments that L’Arachel could be a part of the Est archetype. Being a Troubadour with some really good growths, starting off underleveled and joining fairly late in the game. Though her bases are pretty good for when you get her. In Fire Emblem 9, Path of Radiance, Elincia was probably one of the characters that you probably never expected to actually recruit…
Or at least I didn’t. She seemed like more of a damsel in distress princess type of deal, but sure enough way late into the game there she was! She’s also another debatable Est though, as she’s totally usable right off the bat with no investment. She’s a flying unit with a movement of 9, A Rank in Staves from the get-go, and also has the canto skill, so as far as requiring a lot of effort, Elincia is sorta fine right out of the box. That’s also not mentioning her free infinite use Brave Sword, the Amiti, which is a nice leg up even with her low Strength. When she joins though, she does indeed have pretty ‘meh’ bases and the great growths you’d come to expect from most of the units vying to be in this archetype. Fire Emblem 10, Radiant Dawn then brought us Pelleas. Joining in Part 4: Chapter 2, Pelleas is a unit that joins incredibly late as a Dark Sage, a second tier class, while most of your units should be well into their third tier classes at that point in the game.
Though it is possible to promote him instantly and utilize him as a staff user with his starting rank of B in staves. He is also the only Archsage with the ability to get an S rank in staves, which allows him to use Fortify as well. His overall growths aren’t the most impressive, but he does have the highest Speed growth of all of the Archsages, even with the not-so-great stat caps of the Archsage class. He can also utilize Balberith, the most potent Dark magic tome, but with his low skill he’ll be pretty innacurate with it. So overall he does have potential and I do think he tends to fit the Est archetype. Kurthnaga could also be another Est. He joins extremely late in the final part of Radiant Dawn with some middling bases, though his potential might not be as great as other Est archetype characters.
He’s recruited with only an A rank in his strike weapon level, which is unfortunate for this point in the campaign, and his Strength growth and Speed aren’t great either. With Paragon to help him level up he’ll have a lot more potential, but due to his incredibly late join time he’ll have a difficult time competing with your other units, especially with that low Speed, so he’s going to require a lot of babying. There are some strategies you can utilize to make him an effective character, but it’s certainly not as easy as it is to invest time and effort into some of the other characters in this list that we’ve mentioned. Fiona in Radiant Dawn is another that I’ve seen thrown around here or there, as she does start off with very poor base stats, you do kinda get her pretty late and she doesn’t get the best moments in Part 3 to participate in, all the while having the good growths that you’d probably expect from most Ests, so I’d consider her as well.
She can also certainly turn out pretty beefy and fairly speedy if given the investment. And that’s the list. There’s a character in Awakening that I could have mentioned as potentially being an Est due to her join time and some other factors, but you get her as a promoted unit and there’s some other particular things about her so I’m not sure that that one counts for me. I also don’t consider units like Donnel and Mozu to be Ests, as they’re just pretty standard trainee units and you can get them early enough. While they require the investment, they’re definitely not late-game characters like the actual Ests. You could probably make an argument about throwing Odin from the Fire Emblem Fates Revelation path on here, too, or even a lot of other units in that path, but it was just so poorly balanced that I’m not going call half or more of its roster Est archetype characters. That one’s a developer issue. I also don’t really consider the children characters in Awakening and Fates to be Ests even though they are unpromoted units that can join very late and do have more potential than their parents, as you can typically get them earlier on by pairing the parents a bit sooner, so that doesn’t really count as lategame to me even though some tend to get recruited a bit later.
Genealogy’s a bit different since there’s a clear time gap between playing with the parents and the children units and you’re forced to focus on the children units in that case, almost as if it’s a separate game. There’s also the age old argument of who’s better, Jagens or Ests? One you get at the beginning, typically a bit overpowered when compared to the rest of your units and that tend to require no experience or not get all that much from gaining experience, meanwhile the other you get incredibly late, requiring a large amount of experience to catch up, and don’t have too much time to be able to utilize.
Jagans are fully functional in their role without EXP, investment, or extra attention, and they can also serve the player well throughout at least a good chunk of the campaign, whereas the Ests are absolutely dependent on exp, and they can certainly put it to good use but will require considerable investment at a time where you probably already have a pretty solid team to work with. They also tend to come so late in the game that they won’t have all that much long-term potential, as there just won’t be as many future chapters with which to utilize them.
When it comes down to it though, Ests are just not very efficient, they can tend to make the player make questionable decisions and poor strategies in the late-game just to let them soak up enough EXP, EXP that would probably be better off going to someone else who’s been with you all along. If anything they lend to making things a bit more challenging, and while there’s nothing wrong with choosing to level up an Est if that’s what you want to do, just keep that in mind. But the point of this video is not to tell you not to use Est characters… play however you want. Fire Emblem is supposed to be fun at the end of the day. And to be honest, in my opinion, focusing so much on the nitty gritty when it comes to stuff like this really makes things a lot less fun, so do whatever you want. So I hope you’ve enjoyed our conversation about Est characters here today, If you did, do me a solid and slash the thumbs up down below, Make sure to get subscribed if you haven’t yet, and if you want to be really awesome you can click that little notification bell so that you’ll be notified whenever we put out a new video.
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(Fire Emblem Echoes – ‘With Mila’s Divine Protection’ plays) .
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