Oh boy, a new Fire Emblem is out! Fire Emblem: Three Houses to be more specific, and this one is a gamechanger. Three Houses is a brand new take on the franchise, with the same classic gameplay at its core. So, what does that mean for us? Well, it means it's time to min-max each and every character's class progression to an annoying specific degree, of course!
The classes this time are mostly those that fans of the franchise would be familiar with. But, just in case, let's go through and rank which intermediate classes are the best. Keep in mind that every character can work as almost any class if instructed and trained properly; this is just our opinion as to the best classes to use.
12 Lord: A Beginner Class Disguised As Intermediate
Starting at the bottom is the intermediate class that really should have been beginner. It's only available to Claude, Dimitri, and Edelgard, but it's honestly something players should skip investing time into. The class mastery skill is almost useless, considering all it does is give +2 Resistance, which is a beginner-class-level of useful.
Oh, and it also gives a Combat Art called Subdue, which will always leave the enemy at 1hp (which is somehow even more useless). Basically, it feels like they shoehorned it in because the Lord class has always been a staple of Fire Emblem.
11 Priest: Good For Healers And That's It
Priest allows the user to heal others for more HP and units can still use dark magic while classed into it. The only real reason that Priest is down at the bottom is because it's really only useful for healers.
Its mastery skill is Miracle, which gives the user a chance to survive a lethal hit with 1hp, depending on their Luck stat. when that's compared to the Mage's mastery skill, which gives +6 Magic during combat, there's no contest.
10 Thief: Get The Mastery And Get Outta There
As far as stat growth goes, Thief is a great class, but as far as abilities go, it's sort of useless. Mastering the Thief class allows units to steal from other units, which is awesome. Especially against the Death Knight (free Dark Seals all day).
When compared to, say, the Mercenary's mastery skill, Thief's is pretty awful. We haven't tested it, but it might be a good idea to advance a class into a Mercenary or something, get its class mastery, then spend the rest of the levels until advanced class as a thief.
9 Brawler: Great Stats But A Lame Mastery Skill
Personally, we wish Brawler could be higher. It's an awesome new class completely centered around punching the enemies all day every day. It even allows units to fight barehanded and do ridiculous damage! That's the thing, though: its ability is to fight unarmed. Mastering Brawler just allows your unit to fight without weapons in any other class.
That said, apart from it's -5 to resistance, the stat growth for a Brawler is pretty stellar. It's up to each individual player, but the Brawler is definitely a class worth the time investment in the long run.
8 Archer: Amazing Mastery Skill With Mediocre Stats
Archers are pretty rock solid; there's not much wrong with this class choice. If a unit is good with a bow, make them an archer. The mastery ability is fantastic, as it just gives +20 to hit rate. The only real downside is that the stat growth is pretty awful: Dex is great, but everything else isn't.
Basically, Archer is a class that works for a unit that won't be fighting enemies face to face very often. But, for the units that do want to fight up close with a bow, stick to Archer until you master the class, than switch to a class with better stat growth, like Thief or Brawler.
7 Armored Knight: The Go-To Tank Class
The Armored Knight is obviously the "Tank" class, like in most iterations of Fire Emblem. Sure, the Brawler is the way to go if speed and health are optimal, but there's no class better for pure defense. Plus, it has proficiency in both axe and heavy armor, which is good for re-classing into a Brigand or Warrior later on.
What's even more fearsome is the master ability, called Armored Blow. Now, the stat spread for Armored Knight isn't amazing, but this skill is what elevates it to this point in the list. Whenever the unit initiates combat, they'll get +6 to their defense.
6 Brigand: The Class For All Ax Users
The Brigand is perfect for those who want an ax user with high health and strength. It's the best class to put someone in if their strength leaves room for improvement and their axe skills are less than stellar.
While it doesn't have many negative stats, it only has a few positives, so it's a double-edged...ax. Their mastery skill is just as absurd, as it gives them +6 strength during combat they initiate. I'm sure most readers have noticed the pattern by now, but basically, if a skill gets +6 of any stat during combat: A+.
5 Pegasus Knight: The First Of The Mounted Bias
Now we've arrived at the mounted units. Here's the thing. In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, mounted units are absurdly powerful. That's because they have a class ability called Canto, which allows them to move after attacks.
Pegasus Knights get Canto, but they also get Avoid +10, making them even harder to hit. Basically, Pegasus Knights are like Cavaliers, but they trade health, strength, and defense for absurd speed. They can even dismount now, to avoid being wiped out by bow-users.
4 Cavalier: Just Unfair At A Base Level
Of course Cavalier was going to come right after Pegasus Knight. The Cavalier is honestly pretty similar. It doesn't get the Avoid +10, but in exchange, it has better stat growth. If a player turns an already tanky character into a Cavalier, they'll be able to hold the line single-handedly.
The best part is that the Cavalier gets a mastery skill called Desperation. This skill lets the Cavalier perform its follow up attack BEFORE the enemy counters, if the Cavalier has less than 50% health.
3 Mercenary: Vantage Is Absurdly Strong
Being a freelancing Mercenary just sounds cool on paper, but, they also have one of the best mastery skills in the game, Vantage. Essentially, if a player unit is below 50% health, they'll ALWAYS attack before the enemy as long as the enemy initiates combat.
This means that if someone has a glass cannon that's low on health, they have a much higher chance of surviving the enemy's turn than any other unit. Only downside? Mercenary's stat growth is average: not awful, not great.
2 Dark Mage: Hard To Get, But Oh So Worth It
Now here's one of the harder to obtain classes in the game, Dark Mage. This class can only be obtained once players nab an item called the Dark Seal from a certain spooky Knight. It's a male-only class, so keep that in mind, since there are only a few magic-focused male characters.
Its mastery skill is called Poison Strike and it causes the enemy to lose 20% health every time the Dark Mage initiates combat. That, combined with the Mage's Fiendish Blow, makes for a hypothetical spell-slinging powerhouse. The problem is that the Dark Mage can only cast offensive magic, whereas the Mage can still cast both.
1 Mage: A Fiendish Blow To The Games Balance
Oddly, the mages are at the top of this list, not the mounted units. That might change if we were ranking advanced/master classes, but until then, the mage class is just the entire package.
The bread and butter is their mastery skill, Fiendish Blow. It means that whenever said mage initiates combat, they get +6 magic during combat, meaning that during the players turn, their mages do tons more damage.