Fans of Fire Emblem: Three Houses who are familiar with Claude's Golden Deer class likely know them as a rambunctious bunch with the most diverse outlook on life. That stands to reason, given the Leicester Alliance is far less united in ideology than either the Adrestian Empire or the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. The team's return in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is just as eclectic as ever, with some new faces along for the ride.
Here, we'll talk about each Golden Deer character's strengths, as well as their likes and dislikes to bear in mind when handing them gifts and going on excursions together.
The Golden Deer: An Overall Analysis
Let's begin with an overview of what the Golden Deer bring to the table. There is an emphasis on bow-wielders and mounted units in this clan. This comes at the expense of magic, as only two characters (Lysithea and Marianne) are inherently suitable mages.
Lorenz and Leonie excel on horseback, while Claude is perfect for taking to the skies upon a wyvern. Claude shares his bowmanship with Ignatz, and Shamir is recruited the earliest on the Golden Wildfire route, cranking up your arrow-flinging teammates to three. Additionally, Lorenz and Leonie also share lances for weaponry.
That's not to say more conventional melee fighters are out of the picture. Raphael uses his fists to do the talking, while Hilda is a warrior through and through. Holst is the only character (Shez notwithstanding) who wields a sword, so you won't have much competition there.
On the other hand, your options for protection against mage types are limited to a handful of optional recruits you can snag throughout the campaign. Elemental attacks are limited to Lysithea's Dark Magic spells and general weapon-based bonuses.
Every Golden Wildfire Character
The Golden Deer characters tend to speak their minds the most out of all three houses. That's not to say the other paths feature a bunch of dolts with no ambitions of their own, but the very nature of the fragmented Leicester Alliance affords a more communal outlook. Expect plenty of arguing!
Claude von Riegan
Claude's an inquisitive man with a knack for deception. He wants to know everything, always, so that he can chart a long-distance course as a leader. He'll often employ the sort of underhanded tactics you won't see from Dimitri or even Edelgard, but despite that fact, he is in many ways the most approachable ruler of them all.
As a result, Claude isn't fond of leaving anything to chance. He also takes umbrage with people who rely upon religion to allegedly resolve their problems. Gifts for Claude should be themed around archery and mystery. He loves a challenge. When speaking with him on expeditions, he's likely to inquire into Shez's life just as much as you, as Shez, inquire into his. Indulge him, and ask questions that prove you're as interested in the workings of the world as he is.
In battle, Claude's preferred classes come equipped with an irony — if he's mounted upon a wyvern, his main weakness is against fellow archers. It can be easy to forget this, seeing as Claude himself is a master with the bow, so take care when sending him across the battlefield. That said, Claude comes with the built-in benefit of a lord's stats and final class, which are always guaranteed to be impressive.
Lorenz Hellman Gloucester
Lorenz is a lovable buffoon. He's also immensely talented in the ways of the nobility. The trouble is, and this is especially true for an eclectic bunch like the Golden Deer, those two aspects of his personality don't always mesh. He can come across as profoundly persnickety, and he's utterly unaware that his obsession with protecting the commonfolk makes him inadvertently sound like he thinks them innately incapable of protecting themselves.
Anything that boosts Lorenz's noble demeanor will entice him, whether that means Riding Boots and Tea Leaves for gifts or complimenting his excellent etiquette on expeditions.
Unless you really want to mess around with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes' traditional class structure, you should keep Lorenz on horseback as his default progression insists. Many of his abilities emphasize the lance, and these complement mounted units quite nicely. Plus, Lorenz will trample foes along his way to wherever you send him, and that can lead to a surprisingly high KO count to help you achieve S-Rank.
Hilda Valentine Goneril
In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, one of the most popular in-battle recurring quotes is Hilda's, in which she cheers for herself by chanting her own name. This continues to speak volumes to her character in Three Hopes, though you'll be seeing her more protective side as well.
Hilda adores accessories like Fashionable Hair Ornaments, and shiny trinkets like Gleamstones. Don't waste stuff like Training Weights on her, as there's no way she's going near them, and she'll tell you so verbatim. On expeditions, chat about fashion, freely gossip, and commend Hilda for her efforts.
If Claude's weakness to archers is a four on the irony scale, Hilda's terrific proficiency with axes and overall hardiness is at least an eight. For all her girlish mannerisms, no one in the Golden Deer house is better suited to merciless physical offense, even if her defensive stats are somewhat lacking by comparison. Don't waste Hilda's talent for sudden carnage.
Lysithea von Ordelia
Lysithea is the Golden Deer's sole expert in magecraft, and as such, you'll want to employ her in any fight that can use some area-of-effect brutality against bulky physical types who lack resistance to magic. Her Dark Magic abilities hit hard and often leave behind unsettling status effects as well. She's predictably frail, so keep someone sturdier nearby if you send her off to conquer strongholds and such.
That frailty is Lysithea's bane, equating her small stature and younger age as everyone treating her like a child. Nonetheless, gift her things a child would adore. Baked treats, cute dolls, she wants it all, even if she pretends otherwise. Just don't talk down to her on expeditions and in support conversations.
No one in Fodlan comes close to Raphael's love for muscle-building, nor his adorably single-minded dedication to physical training and feasting in equal measure. Raphael will love you forever if you hook him up with gifts like weights and treat him to a nice meal.
He's stubbornly defiant of Lorenz's narrow view on what a commoner should and shouldn't do, so don't bother touching those subjects with him during conversations. Just commend his biceps and agree that meat's the best and you're golden.
Predictably, Raphael is best-served in combat with some strong gauntlets and a row of foes to bowl over. He's a beast, with high HP and stalwart enough physical defense to withstand some serious blows. He also has a tendency to get himself in over his head as a result, so if you aren't controlling him, be sure to keep tabs on Raphael's… ambitious side.
In most ways, Leonie is Hilda's polar opposite. Hard work and money-saving are her bread and butter, and prancing into the fog of war is her idea of a good time. When speaking with her, value her strides as a mercenary, but maintain a degree of friendly rivalry. She loves that.
Leonie's spendthrift nature works well with her enjoyment of crafting her own gear. Practical gifts will serve you best here, like Fishing Floats and Hunting Daggers.
If you're debating between using Leonie or Lorenz as a mounted troop, don't neglect the option to spring for both. That's because while Leonie lacks some of Lorenz's halfway decent magic resistance and surely his propensity for light elemental damage, she makes up for it in speed, dexterity, and physical defense.
Marianne von Edmund
Soft-spoken and humble to the point of consistent self-deprecation, Marianne might seem like a total doormat at first. But she absolutely has her reasons, and treating her delicately but gently cheering her on works wonders with her.
Marianne is to the Golden Deer what Linhardt is for the Black Eagles — your healer. But beyond healing, she also sports some limited abilities as an ice-based offensive magician and the helpful talent to reduce damage inflicted upon her whenever she's ordered to defend. Since ordering defense helps her AI realize when to heal others, this works in your favor.
It should be noted that Marianne's Animal Friend talent boosts her capabilities when she's near an animal or riding one. It's not a terrible idea to get her involved in classes with horses and pegasus as a result.
Ignatz's relative disinterest in the knighthood he attains is as plain as day, but he'll push back against remarks to that end for some time. Acknowledging his hard work is a wiser course of action, and whenever he mentions a love of traveling and painting, support those hobbies.
The lad is perhaps Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes' most standard-issue archer, though that's hardly a bad thing. He can be safely relied upon to get the long-range job done and to do it well. Dreamer's Paintbrush causes splash damage to falling mounted units, meaning the initial weakness to arrows is only the beginning of their bad day.
In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Hilda often talked about her brother. But he never quite made it into the game, and the writing went to lengths to ensure he couldn't show up even when battling the Almyrans. It was a bit of a shame.
Thankfully, Three Hopes does Holst justice. He's proud of his strength, and of his family's good name. Most importantly, he enjoys viewing Shez as a rival, and downplaying that interest of his will not lead to good results.
Holst is the only other sword-wielder guaranteed to join the party on the Golden Wildfire route, making him the closest to Shez in fighting style. But he's beefier, and slower to boot, so view him more as a tank than a DPS.
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