Update 77: Rematch

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Welcome back. Today, we take on To War at Gronder.
♪ Three Crowns ♪

♪ No music ♪

♪ As Fierce as Fire ♪

I'm taking my best units along here. Even though this run is only on Hard, I'm not screwing around. To War at Gronder messed me the fuck up on my first few runs of the game, and I've learned to respect it ever since.

Lysithea has plenty of range as-is, so she'll be taking the Caduceus Staff instead of Thyrsus.

Yuri gets the march ring. I want him and his mountain of Spd to be able to move quickly.

Leonie takes a knowledge gem. No particular reason, she just didn't really particularly need another item.

Constance gets to hold Thyrsus.

Critical rings make for okay placeholder equipment in the event that your big things have already been passed out, or a unit just doesn't need any of them in particular, and doesn't need to get class masteries or skill ranks quickly. Adan gets one too.

Ferdinand's taking the Ochain shield with him. Sure, it slows him down, but the extra Prt and, most importantly, regen are gonna be very useful for his role as an attack-drawer.

There's quite a bit of EXP to go around on this map, so Petra takes the experience gem so she can make the most of it.

I don't think she'll actually need it, but giving Annette a levin sword can't hurt. No-one else needs one.

Don't worry, I'll give an evaluation of what the map looks like, and the important enemies, after the intro cutscene.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Rematch ♪

♪ Between Heaven and Earth ♪

Dimitri... He's alive. But he doesn't look interested in joining forces with us.

I will create such chaotic warfare that they won't be able to tell who is friend and who is foe.

Here's what we're dealing with. Same map as the Battle of the Eagle and Lion, but vastly different dynamics. Dimitri and his units won't immediately attack anyone, they'll wait until they're provoked—or until we or any Empire unit reach the hill, not counting the units that are already there.

Don't be fooled by the size of Dimitri's army, he's got nasty reinforcements ready for us once his side mobilizes due to either of the above conditions.


Bernadetta's manning the ballista on top of the hill. She's not going to move off that ballista until we kill her.

Persecution Complex: Grants Atk +5 when unit is not at full HP.
Bowfaire: Grants Atk +5 when using a bow.
Bowrange +1: Increases bow range by 1.
Close Counter: Allows unit to counterattack adjacent foes.
Vantage: When foe initiates combat, unit still attacks first if HP is ≤ 50%.
Stealth: Makes it more difficult for foes to target unit.
Magic Bind: If unit lands a hit, targeted foe is unable to use magic for 1 turn.

It's not really that hard to kill her before she can engage in non-ballista combat, but beware her if she does.

Heh, Edelgard's got Agarthans fighting for her. I'm only pointing these guys out because they've got Banshee Θ. Keep your distance from them if you don't want your units' Mv to be tanked.

This would be Petra, if we hadn't recruited her.

Swordfaire: Grants Atk +5 when using a sword.
Stealth: Makes it more difficult for foes to target unit.
Alert Stance: If unit takes no action except Wait, grants Avo +15 for 1 turn.
Keen Intuition: Grants Avo +30 during combat with a foe 2 or more spaces away.

I don't think we've actually seen any Zoltan weapons yet, so let's look at her sword of Zoltan.

Sword of Zoltan: Requires Sword rank A. 1 range. 13 Mt, 90 Hit, 9 Wt, 25 durability. Requires Wootz Steel x4 and 2500 gold to repair.

Petra and her replacement are beyond deadly, it is a really bad idea to leave them in range of any unit during the enemy phase. Much like when we saw her replacement in Silver Snow, though, her big weakness is gambits—it's not hard to hit her with them, and they'll deal significant damage, in addition to rattling her.

The emperor herself.

Imperial Lineage+: If unit takes no action except Wait, grants Res +4 for 1 turn. Multiplies experience earned by 1.2.
Charm: Adjacent allies deal 3 extra damage during combat.
Axefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using an axe.
Commander: Nullifies instant death effects, status effects, and movement effects, and greatly reduces damage from enemy gambits.
Counterattack: Allows unit to counterattack regardless of distance to attacker.
Armored Effect Null: Nullifies any extra effectiveness against armored units.
Hit +20: Increases Hit by 20.

Not the fastest unit, but that's an obscene amount of Atk, and she's way more resistant to magic damage than basically any other armored unit. You'd best be sure you can kill her before she gets to counterattack.

I'll repost what Raging Storm, Aymr's unique combat art, does.

Raging Storm: +14 Mt, +10 Hit, 1 range, costs 3 durability. If attack lands, unit gets another turn. Effective against dragon foes.

If you leave Edelgard within range of one of your units, it is incredibly likely she will turn them into mincemeat, and then go on a multi-turn-fueled rampage. This isn't that big a deal on Classic, weirdly, since unit deaths are just gonna result in you rewinding anyways, but on Casual, where you may be used to dealing with unit deaths, that can be a major setback.

Oh, and I've never seen her use it, but she stole Rhea's personal weapon.

Sword of Seiros: Requires Sword rank A. 1 range. 11 Mt, 80 Hit, 10 Crit, 6 Wt, 30 durability. Restores 50% of damage dealt as HP. Restores 12%/20%/33% max HP every turn; amplified for holders of the Crest of Seiros. Requires Mythril x3 and 2500 gold to repair.

She gets the middle regen effect due to her minor Crest of Seiros, but...again, I've never seen her use it. You can also steal a concotion and a master seal from her, if you want.

Here's the emperor's loyal vassal.

Officer Duty: Grants Mt +5 with gambits.
Fiendish Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants Mag +6 during combat.
Heartseeker: Adjacent foes suffer Avo -20 during combat.
Commander: Nullifies instant death effects, status effects, and movement effects, and greatly reduces damage from enemy gambits.
Paragon: Doubles experience earned.

Still utterly clueless why all of the enemy versions of Hubert have Paragon. I guess it must've just been some weird inside joke.

Hubert's packing a lot of magic damage, and he can deal it at 1-3 range with Mire Β. Thankfully, he's only got 4 Mv, so it's not that hard to approach him.

Moving over to Dimitri's unique units, this would be Felix if we hadn't recruited him.

Swordfaire: Grants Atk +5 when using a sword.
Sword Crit +10: Grants Crit +10 when using a sword.
Darting Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants AS +6 during combat.
Axebreaker+: Grants Hit/Avo +30 when using a sword against axe users.

About as deadly as our Felix is, all things considered. Weak to gambits, though, and stuck with 1 range.

Here's Dedue, as bulky as ever.

Staunch Shield: If unit takes no action except Wait, grants Def +4 for 1 turn.
Axefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using an axe.
Weight -5: Reduces total equipment weight by 5.
Defiant Def: Grants Def +8 when HP is ≤ 25%.
Armored Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants Def +6 during combat.
Armored Effect Null: Nullifies any extra effectiveness against armored units.
Pavise: Chance to reduce sword/lance/axe/brawling damage by half. Trigger % = Dex stat.

As you might be able to tell, it's a very bad idea to try and kill him with physical damage. He does, effectively, immediately die to magic damage, but do beware of his tomahawk. Something tells me it'll be very hard for a magic unit to deal with his 61 Phys Atk.

King Dimitri.

Royal Lineage+: Grants Avo +20 while unit is at full HP. Multiplies experience earned by 1.2.
Charm: Adjacent allies deal 3 extra damage during combat.
Lancefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using a lance.
Commander: Nullifies instant death effects, status effects, and movement effects, and greatly reduces damage from enemy gambits.
Counterattack: Allows unit to counterattack regardless of distance to attacker.
Defensive Tactics: Battalion endurance takes half damage.

No major tricks in his abilities, surprisingly. Unless you count his personal ability. He doesn't need tricks to kill you, though. 70 Atk with 26 AS is incredibly unreasonable.

Areadbhar: 1 range. 19 Mt, 75 Hit, 10 Crit, 9 Wt, 20 durability. Enables Atrocity for holders of the Crest of Blaiddyd. Requires Umbral Steel x3 and 2500 gold to repair.

That 70 Atk is fueled in large part through his Relic, which has a fun combat art.

Atrocity: +15 Mt, +20 Hit, 1 range, costs 3 durability. Effective against all foes.

Yep. Effective damage against everything. Oh, and his Crest gives him a 10% chance to double the damage it deals, at the cost of burning through double the uses.

Dimitri's one saving grace is that he's very weak to magic damage. In a vacuum, my preferred strat would be to weaken him with Windsweep (both Adan and Yuri have it), and then finish him off with Constance or Lysithea or something.

Like Edelgard, you can snatch a concoction and master seal off him, if you feel like it.

Man, this hurts almost as much as having to kill Bernadetta does.

Live to Serve: When healing an ally with white magic, unit recovers the same amount of HP.
White Magic Uses x2: Doubles the number of uses for white magic.
White Magic Heal +10: Heal 10 extra HP when using white magic.
Terrain Resistance: Nullifies damage from terrain.
White Magic Avo +20: Grants Avo +20 when using white magic.
Miracle: Chance to survive lethal damage with 1 HP, if HP is > 1. Trigger % = Lck stat.
White Magic Range +1: Increases white magic range by 1 for attacks that damage foes.
Unsealable Magic: Prevents unit from being silenced.

Not a terribly big threat in combat, but between the Rafail Gem and Miracle, Mercedes can be a real pain to actually kill. Remember, since she has a minor Crest of Lamine, the Rafail Gem gives her Pavise and Aegis.

Pavise: Chance to reduce sword/lance/axe/brawling damage by half. Trigger % = Dex stat.
Aegis: Chance to reduce bow/magic damage by half. Trigger % = Dex stat.

That's everything I can look at for now. Time to advance.

No lucky crit, sadly, but Yuri does get Str, which is better.


That...really hurts.

I'm sorry, Bernie.

Bernadetta only has one bit of battle dialogue, and that's against Adan.
Professor? Is that you?
You're with the enemy. That means I...I'll have to kill you.

Is leaving Ferdinand out near the hill cocky? Maybe. I have faith in him and his 83 Avo, though.

Sometimes, cockiness is justified.

Dimitri's army does nothing this turn.

Here is something to believe in!


Leave, now!

Dammit, man.

You've had your fun!

Alright, that's the initial opposition near the hill cleared out.

Uh-oh, I appear to have provoked Dimitri and his friends.

The attack connects, and kills. Not gonna lie, getting exact kills with a ballista, of all things, feels incredibly good.

Was really hoping that would be a crit.

No matter, Felix's replacement goes down anyways.

Since this is the only time we could've seen Felix here, I'll paste his one line of battle dialogue, which he says for everyone.
Want to die? Step forward. I'll take you all.

Step aside!

I'm really liking this Yuri.

Ah, fuck you, Hubert, you don't get to talk shit about my tactics when you're losing people left and right.


♪ The Dream is Over ♪

I-I guess he does get to talk shit about my tactics.
♪ Between Heaven and Earth ♪

Simple fix, though: just have Constance attack from here. She's still vulnerable to the other fortress knight, but Hubert can't reach her.

The turn progresses the same otherwise.

Except for the part where Adan immolates the cavalry that attacked him.

The Lampos shield nullifies effective damage against cavalry. There's no reason to equip it, it's incredibly rare to see enemies using weapons or spells that are effective against cavalry.

Any round of combat you can walk away from is a good one.

Wuh-oh. Dimitri and his troops are gonna fully mobilize now.

Yes, Your Highness. If that's your order, then I'll go.
...Which includes reinforcements. Reminder, if I were on Maddening, they'd get to act immediately, which is a problem when one of them is— Well, you'll see.

You've got enough Str that I'll let this slide for now.

Remember how Ingrid/her replacement were a terror in the first battle at Gronder? Yeah, she's as much of a terror here too.

Lady Knight: Grants Mt +3 and Hit +5 with gambits.
Canto: Allows unit to move again after completing certain actions, if there is movement remaining.
Lancefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using a lance.
Avo +10: Increases Avo by 10.
Pass: Allows unit to pass through spaces occupied by foes.
Darting Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants AS +6 during combat.
Flying Effect Null: Nullifies any extra effectiveness against fliers.

She hits hard, has 32 fucking AS, 62 fucking Avo, and is immune to effective damage against fliers. Can't just snipe her out of the air immediately, you gotta work to kill her.

Strangely enough, despite Ingrid having Lúin, Sylvain doesn't have the Lance of Ruin. I guess it is still owned by the Church of Seiros, huh?

Philanderer: If a female ally is adjacent, unit deals 2 extra damage and takes 2 less damage during combat.
Canto: Allows unit to move again after completing certain actions, if there is movement remaining.
Lancefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using a lance.
Terrain Resistance: Nullifies damage from terrain.
Death Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants Str +6 during combat.
Swordbreaker+: Grants Hit/Avo +30 when using a lance against sword users.
Pass: Allows unit to pass through spaces occupied by foes.

Nowhere near as deadly as Ingrid, but that doesn't mean you should treat him lightly. He's much easier to kill, at least, due to being as vulnerable to Dark Spikes Τ as the Death Knight.

You might have a response to 2 range attacks, but you can't do shit about 3 range!

Dedue has no other combat dialogue here.

I'll make you proud, Jeralt!

Huh! Didn't even need magic to kill him.

About as much as I can expect from Alois, really.

This is why Yuri being so speedy is useful. Even if having a bundle of Spd does nothing for you offensively past a certain point, it's useful to have a unit who can avoid being doubled by enemies like Ingrid.

No other combat dialogue, same as Dedue.

Yeah, I'll take it.

Imagine being a pegasus knight and getting one-shot by magic. Embarrassing.

The ballista hits.

No other combat dialogue.


Almost 40 Spd, holy shit. That just kinda crept up on me.

Later, Ingrid.

What, I don't get to take Lúin for myself?

Sorry, Mercie.

Ah, fuck off, what stick's up your ass that you can't be sad that she died?

...Maybe this wasn't a good idea.

Okay, in light of Dimitri being able to do 80 fucking damage holy shit, let's leave Leonie out of his range.

Ferdinand might be better suited to this.

Leonie was still in Dimitri's range, though, so Constance has to rescue her.

You got that right.

Nah, sorry.

It hits.

Try me.

you tried me
♪ The Dream is Over ♪

Even Ferdinand has his limits.
♪ Between Heaven and Earth ♪

Plan C: don't engage Dimitri on this turn.

The hell was that, Petra?

Well, I employed one part of my "in a vaccum" strategy.

You're gonna wish you stayed dead, Dimitri.

Time to die, pal!

Dude, do I look like an Imperial soldier to you?


Mercedes dies once and for all.

And with that, Sylvain and his reinforcements are all that are left of Dimitri's army.

Hey look, +1 AS.

Yeah, RIP.


Strategy in motion!

And with that, the Kingdom's forces are crushed.

If that sounds like I'm proud of it, I'm not. There was absolutely no reason for us to fight there.

No hesitation!

Here is something to believe in!

Love me some double crits.


Constance, aided by Annette, uses two turns to pull Yuri and Balthus closer to the action.

With all of my might!

One monster down.

Haha, you thought armor would save you against Balthus.

Can never have too much Relic-repairing ore.

That's both monsters taken care of. All that's left is Edelgard and one Agarthan mage.

A clean bisection leads to a good level.

♪ The Dream is Over ♪

that was too close to Edelgard, whoops
♪ Between Heaven and Earth ♪

That's what her tomahawks are for, though.

...Great. Real glad I went to the effort of getting that chest.

I can only assume Edelgard has such lousy odds of hiting Ferdinand that she's preferring to use her gambit instead. Fine by me, that gets her off the heal tile+.

You do realize you've just signed your own death warrant.

Raging Flames has a 5x2 area of effect, so it's got pretty considerable reach. Still way inferior to Ashes and Dust and Dimitri's gambit, though.

Yuri sets her up...

And knocks her down, too.

He's rewarded with more Spd.
♪ No music ♪

We did it, Teach. Now we can move forward. To our victory!

That was To War at Gronder. It terrifies me and brings me joy in equal measure. It is, to me, the battle that I think of when I think about Three Houses.
♪ No music ♪

It was close.
Too close. But I suppose all that matters is that we won. Some of our allies are injured, but can still fight. We'll just have to accept this outcome and press onward.
Still, the battlefield looks awful. And I wonder what became of the Kingdom army. And Dimitri...

♪ A Lonely Figure ♪

Who? Dimitri?
He was completely different from how I remember him. He looked like a crazed demon while he was fighting. He pursued Edelgard as she retreated, but he didn't get far before he collapsed. I saw him surrounded by Imperial troops and...pierced by their spears. I'll never forget it. He deserved a better end.
Dimitri... He went through so much to make it here, only for his efforts to be in vain.
I can't even begin to understand what Dimitri must have been feeling, but...
There must have been some other way. Why did he have to go like that?
And his vassal, Dedue... Did he fall as well?
I don't know...

Your ambitions are my own now! I... I will bring you Edelgard's head... I swear it!

♪ No music ♪

Lysithea, what are you doing up this late? Trouble sleeping?
That's understandable.
Anyone would be shaken after such a brutal battle. If you're having trouble sleeping, you should drink some warm milk. That's a thing, right?
Must you treat me like a child, simply because I am awake a bit later than usual?
Actually, I can hardly muster any indignation right now. I wanted to tell you that I noticed something odd during that battle.
What was it?

♪ Spiderweb ♪

The ones dressed in black?
That's right. I have seen people dressed just like that before. It was a long time ago... House Ordelia was involved in a rebellion that took place within the Empire 13 years ago. After it was quelled, all of the key officials were caught and put to death.
The Empire sent replacements, who they used to take control of House Ordelia.
Among the people sent by the Empire were mages dressed in black, just like those we saw in battle.
If they're Imperial mages, it makes sense that they would wear the same clothing, right?
Yes, but the mages from back then and today... I do not believe they are from the Adrestian Empire.
Are they Kingdom mages?
No. I got the impression that they were from somewhere else. Somewhere completely separate from Fódlan.
There's more. Those mages imprisoned the children from my house, and performed horrible rituals on them. Blood experiments.
Lysithea... You can't mean...even you?
Yes. All of the others were deemed failures. They all died.
And even I...
It doesn't matter. The point is that those monsters possess dreadful knowledge and power. I just thought you should know the sort of people who have allied with the Empire.
Blood experiments... Does that remind you of anything, Teach?
That incident with Flayn...
Exactly. There was that secret group who abducted Flayn and extracted her blood five years ago.
The people involved back then were Tomas and Monica... Well, I suppose their true names were Solon and Kronya. So that eerie group has been slithering behind the scenes in the Empire for a while now... Lysithea... Thank you for sharing all of that with us. One day we will uncover the truth of who those people really are.

♪ Anxiety ♪

We've managed to invade Empire territory and emerge victorious in our first battle.
I hope to maintain our momentum and push onward to Enbarr, the Imperial Capital.
Unfortunately, we are not legendary heroes in a fairytale. Our stamina has limits. The longer we fight, the harder the fight will become.
It will take immense effort to secure the supplies and soldiers we need to prevail.
Boy, you better not be saying this is as far as we go.
Of course not. However, the road ahead leads deep into enemy territory. It will be a difficult journey, strewn with hardship. I can't guarantee that we'll make it out alive. If anyone wants to leave, now is the time to do it.
I shall accompany you to the very end. After all, someone must step up to take leadership should you fall.
I'm coming. The future of my village depends on it. Besides... I have to protect the professor. For Captain Jeralt.
I'm not going anywhere! Because of the Empire, my little sis can't live in peace!
We can't leave the future of Fódlan to others. I'm sure that everyone here feels the same.
The Knights of Seiros will keep fighting the Empire. We won't rest until we rescue Lady Rhea.
I feel the same as the knights. I've gotta rescue Lady Rhea no matter what.
So, what—we're all supposed to take turn ssaying we'll do our best until the very end? And what about you, Marianne? What will you do?
I...I'll fight too!
Fine, fine. I suppose I'll tag along too... Until the bitter end.
It's an honor to keep fighting alongside such stalwart allies. Right, Teach?
I'd expect nothing less from my students.
Hey now, when you put it that way, it almost sounds like you're just praising yourself!
All right. Now that I know where each of you stands, I'm going to return to Alliance territory for a while. I intend to report this victory to the Alliance lords and draw out even more support from them.
Our next battle will be even more challenging, so brace yourselves for that.

♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Your brother, Lord Holst? How is he these days?
Oh, he's doing great. I even got a letter from him before the last battle. He wanted to come and join our fight too.
What's this? Lord Holst, come here? That would be a most reassuring development.
Sadly, it sounds like my father was against the idea. They want him to stay in case they need to fight the Almyrans.
Their logic is sound. Though it is vexing that the Alliance's greatest general cannot join us on the front lines.
We should be glad that Holst is staying behind. Almyra aisde, there's also no guarantee that the Imperial forces won't try to launch a surprise attack from the old Kingdom territory.
Um... If you have something you need to talk to my brother about, I'd be happy to send a letter.
No, that's OK. I'm just glad to hear he's doing well. Please send him my regards.

Phew. For whatever reason, that entire scene just now (starting from "We've managed to invade") was somehow missing from my script dump, so I had to manually transcribe it myself. That sucked.

Next time: we sadly go back to stuff we already saw in Silver Snow.

This update brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my LPs on Patreon:

Next Update
Previous Update
Table of Contents
Support the LPs on Patreon