What's the deal with myrmidons?


#1

^ Title.

(Disclaimer: This is somewhat comedic/ a rant, but also for information)

There’s a thread on the shortcomings of knights, but I don’t get what the heck is the deal with myrmidons or why people like them.

I ask because I am working on a hack, and I don’t want my myrmidon character to be trash just because I don’t understand them.

My Complaints:

“Let’s make a frontline unit with the defense of an archer, mediocre Str, the weakest weapon type, and constitution so low it’s sick! Oh yeah, they also get the (second) best Spd stat in the game.” - The guy who invented the myrmidon.

So yeah, In a game series where movement and general utility are what make the best units, foot soldiers have a slight disadvantage. This is balanced by things like wyvern slaying, flying weakness, and longswords. It is assumed that slower units would have a slight statistical advantage to compensate, but that doesn’t always happen. (cough Knights cough)

So what’re the strengths and weaknesses of myrmidons, and why would I choose to use one over a mercenary, especially when most Lord units already use swords?

Fighters have sky high Str, and Hp, with low Def and weaker Spd or Skl. They hit hard, if unreliably, and can take a few good punches to the face, even if not tanky.

Knights may be obese, but when implemented into a game well they become your moving fortress and (along with any defensive calvelry) become your front line.

Mercenaries hit reliably, double frequently enough for good damage and can take ~2-3 hits without dying.

Now what was the myrmidon’s place again? oh yeah, take killing blows while not being put in enemy range so he can eventually become a swordmaster (which is actually a pretty sick class)

See, my myrmidon and archer usually end up having a similar role (tertiary damage dealer which I feed exp to)

Enough complaining, on to specific examples!!
(Disclaimer: The majority of my FE experience are the Tellius games and Fe 7, so that’s where my examples will come from)

-Mia
Path of Radiance, the player is getting familiar with the Greil mercenaries but things are getting more difficult, and when Mia so graciously offers to join your team the extra unit is appreciated. Not only do you get another sword user, but more inventory space and whatever sword she’s holding for ike (slim sword or something). But it becomes apparent that her defense stat makes her a liability, and her damage output is non-existent. Regardless, with enough babying she can become a powerhouse unit who kills everything just like every other unit in FE 9(!)

-Zihark
This guy is actually legit dope, why? Cause they hand him to you already leveled (14 or something), he’s got an awesome design, and he’s not over leveled. Take that killing edge away though, and he’s not so hot, still pretty good though. but in a game with Ike, Gatrie, Jill, Titania, and pretty much any character able to become an army slayer (expect astrid), pretty good doesn’t stand out too much.

-Edward
Biggest scam in FE. Hours upon hours spent in the JP Lunatic mode to train him, and his sword master stats still wound up comparable (in some ways weaker) than zihark. Let’s be real, any unit that can take a hit is a boon in that opening game, but Nolan and Aran just take the cake for me. (In case you haven’t noticed, I dislike any unit I regard a liability. Especially when the ‘payoff’ is non-existent.) (Yes, I’m still bitter.)

-Guy
He’s a character? anyhoo, same story. get guy, he’s got killing edge, take it away give it to lord, now you have unit with high speed and trash defense. YAY!

-Raven (Cause why not?)
Yeah he’s a merc, but still too myrmidony to be good for me. See, the final knife in the coffin is that you’ve already got 3 lord units to deal with and you don’t want another Lyn type character foot soldier unless they’re really going to help you. He doesn’t.

-Lon’qu (Because regrettably, Awakening was a thing.)
Similar to guy, but because he’s a slightly higher level he stands out more. His growths aren’t that great though so I never used him.

TL;DR: Myrmidons suck, how do I make one good?
Also,
why are myrmidons a thing, and what do you guys like about them?


#2

You left Rutger out, who is probably one of the best myrmidons in the series…


#3

Where’s my gambling boy Josh? He can kick almost anyone ass with or without promote. Also Marisa, Fir and her family (especially the sword demon-saint guy) is not that bad.


#4

I shall check out FE blazing blade and see what I think.


#5

Nice work conveniently ignoring Rutger who’s a Myrmidon done right, and probably the only one. There’s times where the Swordmaster/Myrmidon class itself is done well but not the base users, like FE12 where the actual spd advantage is relevant.


#6

^ this so much.
I am currently playing FE12 on lunatic reverse and having some characters change to swordmaster for specific tasks is absolutely crucial and even base myrmidons can be good at certain points (specifically if they are female and posess the lady sword for dealing high amounts of damage with a reliable chance to double early on).

Then we have the DS AI behaviour so understanding the AI and proper positioning makes the game exceptionally less difficult. This is also where swordmasters really shine, considering the large maps with ballisticians or spells like swarm and meteor. There is sometimes so much damage from unreachable targets that it’s really important to have someone with high avoid. Just placing a swordmaster on a mountain to lure out enemies can make the difference.

And this is something other classes can’t do. Swordmasters possess 8 MOV and can cross rivers which mounted units can’t and while horseman can also reach 30 SPD they usually don’t reach that value until very late in the game where many enemies already reach amounts of 27+ SPD.

However FE12 does every class justice since they can all be useful (Except warriors because that 24 SPD cap just hurts)

And as so many people mentioned: Rutger is a very strong unit and a really good example for a myrmidon.
Also the OP ignored Ziharks Earth affinity or the outstanding early game performance of lon’qu on lunatic.

It’s right that myrmidons usually just excel in speed but that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s on the player to make the best use of this strength: Building supports to further boost the avoid, making use of skills and so on. It’s all about reducing the risk of a class that goes all out on risk vs. reward.

So the best use of a myrmidon is usually against targets with lower hit rates and enemies that might be strong but not very tough. That makes myrmidons good for luring out enemies with effective weapons that could kill your mounted or flying units easily or against many classes with low defense. With a promotion to swordmaster their effectivness against other enemy types will rise and depending on the game they can be really good.(Nothing can save a bad character in a good class though and that happens very often)


#7

Yeah, I definitely agree on myrmidons and swordmasters being garbage. Sure, while there are a couple good ones like Rutger, most myrmidons are not worth using compared to other units. They do have a few uses, such as against axe users or mages, but most other classes have utilities that surpass theirs.

They barely have any bulk to take hits, they barely have any strength to do damage with, and they are only usable in specific situations. They are worthless against anything that has even the slightest amount of defense, like an armor knight, cavalier, or just about any other lance user, and those two classes are very common in most games.

Mercenaries and heroes, on the other hand, are much better with more reliable damage output and higher defensive stats, and they can do just as well against axe users and mages. Heroes even get a powerful 1-2 range weapon, which is worth much more than the swordmaster’s 15% crit rate boost. On their own, myrmidons have nothing to their name besides speed, and avoidance is only useful when the enemy hit rate is below 30% against axe enemies. If they dare go up against anything that isn’t an axe user or mage, then they can take a lot of damage and die easily. The only way for them to be good is if the game they’re in is easy, like in FE8 or FE9, and even then, they’re still worse than most other units.

Compared to the utility and strength of most other classes, myrmidons and swordmasters have basically nothing. Having a flashy critical animation does not make a good class, and it never will. What’s the point of having a class that can’t be useful most of the time when you have other classes that can be useful all the time?


#8

Myrmidons do not necessarily have low strength. Rutger, who you conveniently ignored, has good strength. Joshua’s in the same basket.
I’m not entirely sure why you mentioned Raven because he’s considered to be one of the best units in FE7… From my experience, Guy is also exemplary even if you take away his killing edge.
Additionally, you keep referring to myrmidons as not being able to take hits. This is somewhat true, but they’re not supposed to take hits. They’re speedy and have somewhat consistent dodge against low-hit users. They’re subpar against lance users usually, yes, but they completely obliterate most axe users and low-hit magics.
You’ve also ignored their ability to deliver hits consistently. Ever seen a myrmidon miss? Not very often. While you have axe users and often axe users missing, myrmidons will rarely mis.

I also completely disagree with this. Footsoldiers generally should be slightly better than cavalry statistically. Although mounts should have slightly lower stats, they make up for it in their versatility in their higher movement and their ability to use more weapons right off the bat. In a balanced army, you use both footsoldiers (also mainly used in endgame) and mounts to make use of your good units with versatile units.

I’ll agree that most of the myrmidons in the Tellius games were a little subpar (though to be fair, almost everyone turns out great if you train them, and I still liked Zihark quite a bit), each of the GBA games are characterized by great myrmidon units. Guy, Rutger, and Joshua.


#9

Guy has a base 6 strength, and with his 30% growth it won’t get much better. His killing edge is better used for Marcus. While Rutger does have high strength, so does Dieck. I actually prefer promoting Dieck over Rutger due to his 1-2 range and high strength as a hero. Hero Dieck does just as well as Rutger. Though, unlike other myrmidons, you don’t have to baby Rutger, he can be a great boss killer, and the low hit rates make avoidance more reliable. Rutger can easily become one of your most powerful FE6 units without putting much effort into training him.

Rutger and Joshua are the exception, not the rule. And Joshua isn’t very impressive either due to FE8’s low difficulty. Anybody in that game can just go to the tower and grind, and they become powerful and kill everything. 8 base strength is not even that high, especially when you wield the weakest weapon type. It’s only high when you compare it to other myrmidons, but to any other class 8 strength would be pretty standard. Or maybe everyone’s used to GBA Fire Emblem, where base stats are usually lower than other games. 8 strength just doesn’t seem high to me.

Being able to hit things is not the most impressive skill to have. Anybody that doesn’t wield an axe can reliably hit things. You can’t say that it makes myrmidons any better. Archers can reliably hit things, but they’re still bad. Myrmidons don’t have anything that makes them stand out from any other class besides their speed. Being able to hit things is really only useful when you can do decent damage with that high hit rate.

Sure, if you use them correctly they can be useful, but if you need to find specific situations to use that class correctly, then they probably aren’t a good class. Better classes like cavaliers and mercenaries aren’t as situational and can do well in most situations they are in. They can also be put on the front lines without them being hit by a lance and dying. Running around the edge of the map, finding forests to hide in, and looking for axe users to dodge isn’t very useful. Myrmidons aren’t good at frontline combat. And while they’re supposed to dodge everything, they’re not very good at it. Lance enemies are usually very common and they can easily gain about 30% hit rate on them, which is too high to reliably dodge. Even if they can dodge, if the enemy has a javelin, hand axe, tome, or bow, they can just shoot them at range without retaliation. In that case, their avoidance just prolongs the inevitable.

Even so, in games where the enemies have actual stats, they can easily gain high hit rates on myrmidons and swordmasters and hit them, even with defensive terrain on their side. If the enemies in FE7 or 8 promoted earlier, grew stats more quickly, and wielded more powerful weapons (like silver weapons instead of steel and iron weapons in the lategame), then Guy and Joshua would be completely worthless since they could easily be hit and lose half of their health.

I really don’t get why people love myrmidons and swordmasters so much. They’re probably the most situational class line out there. In the end, though, anybody can use any class they want. If somebody finds myrmidons useful, then that’s fine. Every class has its useful moments. Even archers and fighters can be useful at certain points. It’s just that when they are compared to other classes, myrmidons don’t offer anything that really makes them as useful, special, or as versatile as the others.


#10

The Myrmidon’s superior Speed and Skill over other similar classes make them very formidable foot soldiers, but their comparatively lower HP, Strength and Defense make them difficult to protect against quick and accurate opponents.

While Myrmidons can easily deal with magic users and thieves with a single round of combat on the player phase, the same prowess may not necessarily be replicated on the enemy phase; when overwhelmed by too many of such enemies, they could potentially lose their superior edge and be felled. When facing heavier enemies, especially fighter-type units, the high Speed boasted by Myrmidons makes them proficient at evading clumsy blows. This is, however, offset by their typically mediocre Strength, especially when they are commanded to do battle with heavily armored units (exacerbated further if said armored units are immune to their damage).

Should a Myrmidon be attacked by slower units, especially a Fighter or Brigand, they are often able to kill or heavily damage their enemy in a single counterattack due to the consistency that they display in inflicting critical attacks.

Source:https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Myrmidon


#11

I don’t think anyone has been saying that myrmidons are amazing. (what’s the precursor to this discussion, anyhow?) But OP is shitting on myrmidons whilst ignoring facts and certain games entirely, also forgetting that the contemporary myrmidon didn’t even exist until FE6. some comparisons were made to Dieck in FE6; yes, Dieck is a better unit, but there isn’t any reason not to use both, and using Dieck is not a counterargument to using Rutger. Taking away Rutger’s Killing Edge doesn’t make him terrible; you still have a high speed-high Mt unit with reasonable bulk who can use plenty of other weapons to 1RKO enemy units, or at least out a significant dent in them.


#12

I think people’s main issues with Myrms are as follows:

  1. Having super high stats is irrelevant. There are very few to no cases where having ten more speed is better than having five more speed. Enemies are never fast nor dodgy enough for having an extreme surplus of speed and skill to be important.
  2. Sword lock is shit. GBA has never been generous with magic swords, meanwhile other units can pull stacks of javelins and hand axes out of their ass. If 1-2 range was less busted then pure sword users would have a more fair fight. Hell, at least Mercenaries get axes on promotion (or a horse).
  3. Critical hits aren’t reliable. Sure, pulling a 40% crit sounds cool but in reality it’s more like a 40%x2 hit rate than anything else, since if you’re not critting you’re probably not doing what you hoped to achieve.
  4. Dodging is unreliable. See above, except now when you get a bad roll you literally just die.

Now, as other people have said, Rutger is really awesome. Why is that? Let’s take a look:

  • FE6 weapon hitrates are much lower, so having good skill actually matters more
  • Axe hitrates are even more much lower, so dodging is a lot easier
  • Enemies are stronger so having more speed allows him to reach tangible thresholds
  • His bases are actually competent notably in strength

So it’s really more a factor of environment, and I would say that Myrms really shine in a more hostile one like FE6 because only there do you begin to weigh actual stats over movement or ability to throw javs at people.


#13

There’s a few problems when it comes to the whole ‘x Class/Unit is Bad’ discussion. People have a tendency to combine cherry picking the information they use to back up their argument whilst also creating straw-man arguments to knock down (but hey, that’s everywhere).

The FE games are all different. As previously mentioned by Pik, there are other factors that go into a unit’s usefulness other than their stats/weapons. No FE character exists in a vacuum. That being said, it’s really hard to make a blanket statement regarding the usefulness of a class as a whole if they’ve appeared in multiple FE games. Over time mechanics come and go, math changes, classes get tweaked, skills show up, etc.

We could go on and on, but we wouldn’t get anywhere (this is the Internet, after all). But I figured I’d throw my 2 cents in: Play the game however you want. Unless you homebrew some ruleset (not letting anyone die, LTC, etc.), your ultimate goal is the same as any other player. Make it to the Epilogue. In Fire Emblem, the ends justify the means. However you get to the Epilogue is irrelevant.


#14

special note that cavs and wyverns have literally never been not good


#15

Everyone keeps complaining about how he’s “conveniently” missing Rutger and Joshua.

I’m not going to give examples from games you haven’t played.
But seriously, Myrmidons are only as good as you make them. If you never use one then of course they’ll be terrible. Excluding Edward because even with max stats he’s still a push over. A myrmidon is not meant for tanking or heavy hitting, they’re meant for dodging and upon promoting they’re meant for crits.

Guy turns out pretty much flawless for me whenever I use him while someone like Karel is just meant to be a replacement if you’re really hurting for crit machines. Karla is another but the requirements to get her pretty much make her not worth it.

Mia in 9 can turn out to be amazing or just be Beta-Edward. In 10 she’s usually one of the only units I have that maxes out all of her stats.
Zihark tends to be less amazing in 10 but on par with Mia in 9. That’s just my experience with him. Someone else might have the most amazing Zihark around and have a subpar Mia.
Edward is just Edward. Not much to say in his defense.

Just because you can one turn chapters with fliers doesn’t mean you should. :sleepy:
Jokes aside. Opinions. It’s all about opinion. You don’t have to include a myrmidon if you don’t want to. Alternatively, you can include nothing but if you really wanted.


#16

There are a lot of good examples now in which cases a myrmidon is good but in the end it depends on the overall balance of the game itself. But since this is a hacking community it is in our hands to learn from the FE series and trying our own approach.

I for example focus mostly on FE12 since in my opinion this game has a very good balance and offers tons of maps where a varity of different classes can shine. Balancing a game is one of the hardest but also most important things. A good strategy game should intrigue you to try many different approaches. This can only happen if there are not some obvious answers for the best classes etc.

With patches like the skill system there are good ways to make each class stand out but most importantly: If you want to create a myrmidon that is reliable try to balance the game so that it becomes a reality. This thread should already offer enough information to see the typical balancing problems concerning myrmidons.


#17

(I’m so happy, so many responses!)

Since this keeps coming up, I have not played FE 6 as it was a jpn only release. I only started using emulators about a month ago and will play it once I finish Shadows of Valentia.

Can’t forget something I didn’t know! Thanks for the info though.

Good notes on Zihark and Lon’qu, Earth affinity is a huge boon and so is any unit which helps the player through lunatic.

Great to see you understand my line of reasoning! I do disagree on this small point, I think swordmasters are dope af. I think the 15 crit is great and the str and def boosts gained in promotion really make the difference. I’m specifically talking about myrmidons so mostly early/early-mid game.

Erm… Idk how to break this to you… you basically just rephrased what I was saying. Cavaliers get all rounder stats, weapon utility, and movement range, and foot soldiers get more specialized (aka ‘better’) stats.

That’s nice and all… but doubling at 7 dmg per hit isn’t the best (or 2 if the unit you’re facing isn’t a squishy fighter/mage) (Yes I’m still roasting myrmidons for no apparent reason except kicks, giggles, and my personal vendetta.)

I’m making a hack and my myrmidon character was weak (I’ve buffed his skill base and growths now), and I realized it was because A.) I didn’t understand the class that well and B.) I still have some baggage toward Edward. So I decided to use this tool to stimulate conversation and understand the class (and overall game design) in a way I would not have by poking around a wiki.

Yes! This!

Could not have said it better myself.

I’m approaching this from a designer standpoint, not from a player standpoint. (I’ll keep abusing games until I can’t) I don’t want to forsake a character type just because I don’t ‘get’ it (that would be stupid & bad design).


#18

In my mind, this is what myrms should be: a unit that can double almost every other unit reliably, even whilst getting weighed down by Steel weapons. They would typically be 2-3HKO’d, and might be speedy enough to dodge a few attacks (this is less applicable to the DS/3DS games as avoid rates are much lower in these). This makes them ideal for 1RKOing archers, mages and occasionally fighters. They should have high skill and their use of swords gives them good hit rates and therefore reliable strategies. This would be as opposed to Berserker/Pirate types, who often have lower hit rates despite good damage output.

Their high speed makes them good users of Killer weapons, since the ability to double also means effectively doubling the chance of a crit. This, in turn, might make them good bosskillers.

They are often weak to lance-wielding units (Cavalier, Knight, Wyvern Rider), who typically have moderate to high defense. Effective weaponry will often weigh them down to the point where they lose their ability to double. A myrmidon should not be left exposed on EP to more than 3-4 enemy attacks.

It’s probably worth noting that in some games there is significant crossover between myrmidon and mercenary function; in fact, they are almost the same in FE7 until promotion.


#19

There’s nothing wrong with Myrmidons conceptually, the problem is that Intelligent Systems consistently makes these concepts never relevant in main games because their specialised stats aren’t relevant because enemies are relatively weak enough to be wiped out by even Cavaliers with average stats.
So how do you make Myrmidons good?
Make your enemies good.


#20

I don’t feel there is much wrong with Myrmidons or swordmasters, But I can highly see why there less preferenced over mercenarys and heros. Their Weapon type normaly kills them in the long run however.

I would say lon’qu falls into that trap where there good but you already have good units and the games fairly easy. Similar thing happends to guy like you said.

Personaly I think Myrmidons should be Units who can Die easily but take out enemys easily (say a glass cannon) And their speed should be relevant to the game (A Example being fire emblem 6 hard mode.)

Sorry if some people have already said stuff like this.