It’s Thursday, which means another Fire Emblem Fates map has been released. This one will come in handy for people who enjoy earning extra skills and reclassing characters, because it adds the Ballistician class to the game. Every time you complete the Ballistician Blitz map, you receive a Sighting Lens that allows a male unit to be become a Ballistician.
First, let’s go over the map. Since completing it allows you access to the Ballistician class, it helps you see what they’re capable of by making most of your opponents Ballisticians. There are three roads leading to the opponent’s central base, and you start with five of your units at the end of the uppermost path, six on the middle path, and three on the lowest one. There are 12 Ballisticians total on the map, as well as four other supporting units. The goal is to seize the enemy’s fort.
The Ballisticians have a good range and are effective against flying units. You want to try and get your characters as close as possible to them, as quickly as possible, to take them out. (However, they didn’t seem to be as effective as some archers, as they weren’t able to take my level 30 Falcon Knight Azura out in one hit.) Like archers, they can’t deal with attacks directly adjacent to them. Along the way, make sure you visit the village on the center path. Anna will give you a Rainbow Tonic for stopping by. The uppermost path is easiest to clear, so perhaps put your strongest and most mobile units on that route. It isn’t too challenging a map, though, since all you need to do is seize the enemy’s base, so you should earn the Sighting Lens without too much trouble.
Ballistician characters have good strength and skill stats, but aren’t so hot in other areas. Their health, defense, and resistance tends to be very low, and their speed is practically nonexistent compared to other stats. You basically want to use them in a map where you can stick them behind a wall, surround them with other characters so enemies can’t get near, and let them go to town. Vanguard Dawn would be a good map for Ballisticians, and I imagine they’d be handy in a Conquest stage where you need to hold out against a group of enemies. Have them use their cannon, which hits 4 spaces in a cross shape at once, and you’re all set. But be careful, as friendly fire is possible with the cannon attacks.
It’s also not a good class to switch to for Skill acquisition, because all of the abilities you learn can only be used when the character is a Ballistician. Which is great if you leave them as-is, but not so much if you hoped for Opportunity Shot to carry over. By the way, Opportunity Shot is perhaps the best skill. It uses the character’s skill stat to determine a percentage chance of attacking an enemy within range automatically at the beginning of a turn. Survey is helpful too, as it increases the Cannon command’s hit rate by 10. Combine that with Rifled Barrel, which increases a cannon’s range by 1 and inner/outer range by –1 and Surefooted, which gives a Ballistician +1 and makes all terrain only cost 1 movement point to cross. All of these help make up for the Ballistician’s other weaknesses and failings.
As for possible Ballistician characters, I recommend using someone who normally isn’t part of your party. Maybe a character like Shura. Someone who already has a proficiency with bows. I’m using Asugi as my Ballistician, since I didn’t really have a place for him otherwise. Since Kagero was his mother, already giving him +5 to strength and +3 to skill, he’s fit into the role rather well.
Fire Emblem Fates’ Ballistician Blitz is $1.99. If you bought the $17.99 Map Pack 1, it’s immediately available to download. Head to the Dragon’s Gate, go to Purchase Content, and update. The map will join all your other DLC maps.
Fire Emblem Fates is immediately available in North America and Japan. It will be released in Europe on May 20, 2016.