Update 93: PROTIP: To clear the map, kill enemies until you win.

♪ No music ♪

Well, there's no way around this, I guess.

I mean, I could just not do the paralogue, but that'd be a sign of weakness, and I am not a weak woman.
♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

I'm only a mostly-weak woman.

Some real annoying enemy additions for this paralogue on Maddening. More enemy archers are never fun, especially when they make approaching an already dangerous area (the northeast passage in front of the thief and assassin) even worse.

Myson is notable for being one of the few bosses on Maddening to have additional abilities on Maddening.

Magic +2: Increases Mag by 2.
Seal Defense: If unit damages foe during combat, foe suffers Def -6 for 1 turn after combat.

Not particularly relevant, but they're there. Magic +2 combines with Myson's natural Maddening buffs to give him +9 Mag compared to Hard.

After a lot of trial and error, this is the group I ended up taking with me. My best units, plus Marianne for Physic healing. Note the three bow users.

Bring it on.
♪ No music ♪

Is what I said multiple times over a cumulative 10+ hours.

This time it's for real.

♪ The Shackled Wolves ♪

Right, we start in yet another "hard to approach any enemies on turn 1" situation, so let's fix that with some Stride.

Lysithea, thankfully, has just enough Mv and range to kill this sniper without Stride.

I'll keep it simple!

And Leonie, similarly, has enough Mv and range to take that dark mage out.

And then Adan's able to move in and hold the chokepoint.

Yep, Bernadetta's got the Immortal Corps this time around. Her first use goes to weakening this trio of pain.

From here, Constance is just barely able to reach this thief, one-shotting him before he can transform into a monster. Sure, it cost a use of Bolting, but if there's any better way to use Bolting than killing a faraway target I'd otherwise have no chance of getting to before they turn into a monster, I certainly haven't heard of it.

72 Hit with a short spear against an enemy with Lancebreaker+ is not bad at all.

Yuri isn't turning out spectacularly, but he's not useless.

Well, that was a fairly busy first player phase—just the way I like it.

Two potential monsters, plus that injured Agarthan, decided to go for Adan instead of moving up.

Hell yeah. Ashe and Bernadetta are able to work together to take down this potential monster. That's an advantage of sending units up the eastern path: this potential monster is just within the reach of both normal archer range, and archer with Curved Shot range.

If I can move Constance up, there's at least one more potential monster I can reduce to ash before they can transform.

As my emphasis on it might've given away, killing the thieves before they turn into monsters is of extreme importance on Maddening. Not killing enough of them early on will make the latter part of the map way harder, borderline impossible.

...Well, I might as well see if it'll work.

Hot damn! No Crest of Noa activation, but still.

Pure grit!

Chokepoint cleared.

I'm more than happy with that level.

Meanwhile, time to deal with another chokepoint: the sword and bow deathball.

No way to stop that, sadly.

Thank the gods that potential monster didn't start moving yet. Her and especially the brawler I took out with Bolting are the hardest of the "feasible to kill before they transform" potential monsters to, y'know, kill.

Using Stride on these three might let me take out some other potential monsters, so...hey, let's do it.

The enemy phase passed without any significant events.

So, dilemma. I'd rather not have to rely on crits to kill that potential monster—Leonie has Point-Blank Volley, that would be a guaranteed kill, no RNG needed. Trouble is, she's one tile short of being able to reach melee range of him.

Good thing Adan's got Draw Back!

That one tile's worth of movement gives Leonie exactly the range she needs to kill this potential monster, no RNG needed.

I could, conceivably, kill one or two more potential monsters before they reach Duke Gerth, which would make the latter part of the map much, much easier. Most of my failed attempts came down to "I couldn't kill enough potential monsters in time, causing things to spiral out of control due to too many monsters."

My best solution to the sword and bow deathball is to just send Dimitri at it. He's my best unit, after all.

That thief is, unfortunately, able to turn into a monster before I could kill her.

...Only 7 Mt? Jeez.

Good lord, Duke Gerth! You took out an entire HP bar on your own!

ayyyyy chalice of beginnings

Get back!

That saves me from having to use Dimitri or Ingrid's turn on finishing the assassin off.

This battle is over!

And that saved me a use of the Lance of Ruin.

More Spd for Dedue, huh?

Ingrid remains a force to be reckoned with.

Another case of "one tile short of being able to attack," huh?

...Plus a case of "one tile short of being able to fix her friend being one tile short of being able to attack."

Second and third verses, very similar but not the same as the first.

Wow. Through a bit of luck, but mostly good tactics, I was able to reduce the amont of monsters I have to contend with from...really, anywhere from four to six, down to two.

Seriously, on the rest of my attempts, this area was just a complete clusterfuck of monsters, completely impenetrable. Only having two is a miracle.

Oof. That puts Leonie below half HP.

Mercifully, though, the monsters prioritize going after Duke Gerth.

Also mercifully, I've managed to avoid triggering the reinforcements. The reinforcements activate specifically on a player unit ending their turn within two tiles of Duke Gerth. I used to think Duke Gerth's movement as able to trigger it, but nope, it's entirely on the player.

Also, of course, you can force the reinforcements early by killing Myson, but...don't do that.

Allow me to demonstrate!

Oh hell yeah, the Crest of Flames cancelled the monster's counterattack.

Fate turns against you...


Also, Constance ending her turn there is gonna trigger reinforcements. Thankfully, now's not the worst time for that.

...Well, that's a bit jank. If Point-Blank Volley gets a crit on its second hit, you don't get a crit cut-in.

Oh, right, it killed the monster. Point-Blank Volley: powerful.

And that is all of the monsters taken care of.

And now...

The pain. Since this is the ally phase, we don't have to deal with the enemies acting on their spawn turn—I'm pretty sure that would make this map actually impossible.

On Maddening, there's an extra dark bishop in the southwest group, an extra dark mage in the west group, and two extra snipers in the group right next to Bernadetta.

All told, I'm in an excellent spot to deal with the reinforcements. Let's tango, Agarthans.

She's got some tricks.

That saves my more combat-oriented units a turn.

That too.

Jeez, Yuri.

Ingrid and Adan will both bait out the cavaliers.

My boy!

You fools.

That didn't really rise to the level of "worth using Gradivus on," but whatever.

Enemy assassins, normally a major threat, are no match for Dimitri.

Enemy snipers also aren't much of a match for Dimitri.

Most enemy units, even on Maddening, aren't a match for Dimitri, come to think of it.

Try this!

Those snipers advancing would pose a bit of a problem, so I have Adan hold them in place.

Same with these dark mages. Blaze is very good.

Man. Is a crit so much to ask for?

(Yes, often, a crit is a lot to ask for.)

Man! All I'm asking for is some convenience, RNG.

That's not RNG convenience, but it is a convenience, so I will gladly take it.

Anyway, whatevs, I can get by, even without crits.

Constance is able to weather magical attacks quite well, thankfully.

Two great levels, only one of which will probably matter.

Not really. +1 Crit, at least.

Way too close for comfort there, especially given that even one crit would've killed her, but hey, we take these victories.

Time to clean up the stragglers and finish this.

And then there was Myson.

After two or three turns of moving up...

Despite Myson's Maddening buffs, Adan is able to avoid being doubled by him.

That's that.
♪ No music ♪

Don't let this update fool you, A Cursed Relic on Maddening is way harder than I made it look here.

The Fetters of Dromi return to me.
♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

The month of paralogue pain is not over, though.

Next time: another paralogue made significantly more frustrating on Maddening. Apropos, if nothing else.

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