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In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon: characters are all over the spectrum: some are excellent, some are okay, some are meh, and some are just flat-out mediocre. This blog post is meant to analyze every character there is in the game.
You have to use Marth throughout the entire game, and his stats are not too bad; he has good luck, average speed and HP, okay strength, and low skill and defense. It should be noted that there is a slight chance he will get a stat up in resistance, but only at a 2% chance. Regardless, Marth should not be facing swarms of magic users to begin with. Also, Marth cannot be reclassed, so he will have to stick around as a Lord. Do not get me wrong though, Marth has enough to survive and deal damage to the opponent. It is just.... I want to give him a Secret Book or two.
Abel is a good unit with good skill and speed growths, and average HP and strength growths. However, his luck growth is a bit low, and despite his high base defense, it can tend to have a shaky growth rate. However, Abel is still a solid unit, capable of succeeding in multiple different classes.
Frey is only available on easy mode, but he is quite an asset should he be leveled. Coming with as promising of growths as Cain and Abel, Frey will prove to be good in any non-magical class he is put in. However, he, like Cain and Abel, suffers from a meager defense growth, which makes it difficult for his defense to hit above average. However, it is still okay, but not stellar. Ah well. Need a Dracoknight? Try Frey. Need a Sniper? Try Frey. Use him right, and he shall fail to disappoint.
Cain has more HP and luck than Abel, but he suffers the same shaky defense issues that Abel has. However, he makes for a great Swordmaster to compliment Paladin, so he can prove to be of use. He can also make a good Sniper if you want to, as he has those better base growth rates than most other units in the game. He is not like Vyland or Midia and has really low stats in any category.
OMG JAGEN IS THE MOST GODLY CHARACTER IN THE GAME. JUST LOOK AT HIS STATS AND GROWTHS; THEY ARE SO PALTRY. Yep, Jagen is a very mediocre character in the later games. He is utter useless to most experienced characters except in the Harder modes. In the harder modes, reclassing him to a Dracoknight is a common strategy to help with the ridiculously tough enemies until Minerva is recruited.
You really do not need Jagen on Easy Mode unless you are really inexperienced with Fire Emblem, as he steals a lot of EXP from you.
All of Gordin's stats are good.... except for strength. You would expect him to have high strength to be able to pick off foes, but instead, his defense is higher than his strength. Of all things.... I guess you could use him to weaken foes for other units, but why use Gordin when you can reclass Abel, Frey, Cain, Catria, etc. They all can be more consistent bow users due to higher strength ratings, while not falling behind in other stats. Do not get me wrong, an Energy Drop or two and he could be okay, but I guess he needs a few more years of age to ripen.
Draug has very solid defense, but his strength is a bit lacking. Note that if you try to reclass him into another class for a higher strength growth rate, he will literally have little/no defense. He gets more speed than strength as a General, so either use an Energy Drop or two, or stick to some other units for Generals, like Wolf, Sedgar, Castor, or Horace.
I really like Norne. She has great speed, decent skill and HP, and her luck and defense are not too bad. However, she has one major flaw: her strength is very low. As a result, her damage output may require forging or Energy Drops to compensate her, which is annoying. However, if you really like Norne, she can do as little as weakening the opponent for someone else, so do not be afraid to use her.
Don't you be lusting on Marth's lover now. Anyways, Shiida still has a few years to grow in strength, and as a result, her strength, HP, and defense can tend to be a little low. However, she has high skill, speed, and luck to make up for it. However, the Dracoknight's low speed cap is a thorn in her side, so a different class, like Paladin, Falcoknight, or Sniper suits her better. I tried her as a Mage, and her resistance will indeed be a little low for a magic user, but her high speed and skill allows for a lot of doubling, and her 35% growth rate as a Mage is not that bad either. Not to mention that you need her to recruit a slew of characters, like Castor and Jake.
Wrys' skill and speed ratings make me want to cry. He just does not have a class he can call home, because none of the growths can balance him out to average. He does join as your first healer, but there are better healers out there, such as Merric and Lena. He just does not manage to impress me in any class, not even with an extended resistance growth.
Ogma is a very good unit. All of his stats are fairly balanced, despite his growths looking a bit unimpressive, and he can consistently land hits on the opponent. Once he starts gaining that hot streak, he can be a valuable asset to the team, doubling opponents left and right with balanced stats across the board. As a result, not only does he make a good Hero, but he also makes a good Horseman, though Hero fits Ogma better. He is more durable than Marth and Nabarl/Navarre, and speedier and more accurate than Barst, making him both a good sword and axe user, only given competition by Sedgar, Wolf, and Caesar. Nobody can go wrong with using Ogma, unless he gets RNG screwed.
Barst is one of the strongest and most reliable axe users in the game. He has relatively decent stats, suffering only a little bit in the defenses, and can cleave the opponent away. As an axe user, he fits in all three axe-promoted classes he gets in Hero, Warrior, and Berserker. He does not make a bad Horseman either, as his speed and skill are the most balanced between the three axemen in the Ogma's axe trio. He is definitely incredibly hard to overlook.
All of Bord's growth are good or okay for a physical unit.... except his speed and defense. As a result, him getting doubled is a nightmare, regardless of how high his HP is. However, the Warrior class gives him a gift in the ability to use bows, allowing him to function as a powerful archer, coming off a maximum of 30 strength. As a result, despite his low speed, his viability with bows is surprisingly not that bad. Since speed is not his specialty at all, he may not make a bad General either to boost his defense, though keep in mind that he will get doubled almost all the time. Horseman is the most balanced pick, but his speed will still be very low.
Cord is not the best fighter out of the three: his skill and defense growths make you want to scream. However, Cord makes for a modest Dark Mage, as he has a higher base magic growth rate out of most other physical units; the additional +2 base strength also cuts down on the attack speed penalties that most mages suffer from. Note that Cord will most likely suffer from low HP unless he spends some levels as a Fighter, but that can be compensated for with a Seraph Robe. His defense is not great, and his skill is still a bit meager, but Cord makes up for it after he grabs momentum. Keep in mind that either some levels as a Fighter/Pirate or a Seraph Robe will be needed to balance out the 20% growth rate in HP. Overall, as an axeman, Cord is not the best. However, there are few viable Dark Mages, and Cord's base growths distinguish himself as a modest Dark Mage.
Darros has magnificent growth rates in HP and strength, and his luck and defense are fairly decent as well. The big problem? His skill and speed have unimpressive growth rates, with 20% and 10% growth rates respectively. Such can be compensated for by moving him into the Mercenary class: this allows his skill and speed to grow at a 30% and 20% growth rate, and while not impressive, Darros will get more skill and speed out of it, at the cost of tuning his HP and strength down to modest growth rates. However, it is definitely worth it, should you try him, as Darros as a Hero is very strong and durable, though not as great as Ogma or Caesar due to the lack of skill and speed.
Once Castor starts heating up, he is alright; he is not stellar, but he can do an okay job. His skill and speed are fairly balanced, and his strength is not bad either. However, his HP and luck can tend to be a little low, so such should be accounted for if you plan to use him. 40% growth rate in HP is not the greatest, but if really bothers you, make him spend some time as a Mercenary for a 20% higher chance to get an HP boost each level up while still having balanced stats. Overall, Castor is okay; he is a little below par due to low defenses, but he can still function if his shortcomings are accounted for.
Lena is the second healer you get, and is the better option between her and Wrys. She is also the only unit who can use the Hammerne staff, which is a very unique aspect. She has high resistance and luck growths in her base class, though meager everywhere else. However, when she promotes, she shines even more, being able to use tomes to defend herself. When she promotes, it is ideal to reclass her to a Sage for additional magic for damage output, and for +2 strength to make sure that tomes like Blizzard and Thunder do not give Lena an Attack Speed penalty, all at the cost of like three points of resistance. Lena can easily grow her resistance back if you really do not want her high resistance to fall, though she will be able to tank most magical hits anyways. Her high luck fixes her slightly below-average skill and speed. Overall, Lena is specialized around magic, and though she has some shortcomings, she sill not disappoint.
Julian is rather difficult to train, but pumping some levels into him is a good idea, as he is only one of two thieves you can recruit. Julian pretty much has the same strength and speed as his fellow thief, Rickard, but Julian has higher HP, skill, luck, and defense, leaving Rickard in the shadows. Furthermore, Julian joins earlier, and can level up quicker by finishing off staff, axe, and bow users, preferably with a forged Iron Sword. Once he reaches level 10, he should already have a D rank in swords, and by level 11-14, should have 8 strength, allowing him to use the Steel Sword as a defense weapon without losing any Attack Speed. Julian is well worth the effort, as his ability to pick locks is crucial for you to complete the game. Raise him, and you will not regret.
Nabarl is okay; he has good HP, skill, speed, and luck, but his HP and defense are a little low, and thus, may not one-round opponents, as you expected him to. However, he can still prove to be a solid Swordmaster, especially with a Killing Edge or a Wo Dao in his disposal, as he will be able to unleash critical hits on the opponent. However, some units that can be reclassed into a Swordmaster, such as Cain and Catria, give Nabarl some serious competition, as they have more balanced stats. They also have more HP and defense, and can leave Nabarl in the shadows. Despite these flaws, Nabarl can still be a usable unit.
Matthis has good HP, strength, and defense, but his low accuracy and attack speed stem from his low skill, speed, and luck. As a result, he can have troubles hitting the opponent, and can be a bit of a liability. Cain and Abel are more well-rounded than him, as well as Hardin and the Whitewing sisters. However, Matthis is not a bad physical tank, and can shield units like Lena and Castor from physical powerhouses, like Warriors and Dracoknights. However, one or two Secret Books is all he really needs to reach up to par, though Speedwings and Goddess Icons prove to be of use as well. Use Matthis if you really like him, or just want to try him out.
Merric has average HP, and good skill, speed, and luck stats. However, his magical stats are rather average, and can weigh him down a bit, though an average magic rating is generally not a problem in lower difficulties if you have high speed. Reclassing him to a Curate gives him a higher growth rate in resistance; however, Merric needs all of the firepower he can get, and thus would prefer to be a Mage. He really is best as an offensive magic user, but grabbing a strength or defense boost from his physical classes is never a bad thing, despite being a gamble to pull off, especially in harder modes. Merric also has a pitiful defense rating, and cannot take too many physical hits. Overall, Merric is a magic user with average firepower and low defense, but can still prove to be useful.
Hardin is a very useful unit, having average or decent stats in every category, sans magic (lol) and luck. As a result, he can be a good Paladin if you are in need of one. His HP is a little low, but he can manage, and can prove to be a rather handy asset to have around. He is not that far off from Cain and Abel; he just needs a small HP injection. Despite becoming the antagonist of book 2, Hardin is really difficult to overlook if you are in big need of a Paladin.
Roshea has some pretty solid stats, except in speed and luck. As a result, he may not be a bad Archer or Myrmidon to accommodate for the speed. As a horseback unit, he can get consistently doubled later in the game, which is not a pretty sight. Roshea is okay, but he lacks a bit of consistency to be effective, and pales in contrast to more balanced choices for Paladins, like Cain, Abel, Frey, and Hardin.
As much as I prefer to avoid the term "outclassed", as this wiki is not meant to be used for competitive strategies, the term fits Vyland very well. Everything Vyland can do, Cain and Abel can do better. Vyland's skill rating also is not very good, and can give him accuracy problems. However, in Normal mode and the lower-difficulty hard modes, you could use Vyland if you really wanted to. But everything Vyland can do, someone can do better.
Sedgar's base stats are not that impressive for a promoted unit, but his growth rates are legendary in every physical stat except for luck. Just take a look: (Growth rates for Horseman)
In fact, as a General, his speed growth rate is 60%! All of his stats except for magic, resistance, and luck will climb sky-high, allowing you to put him in every class except for Sorcerer and watch him grow. The only other character that can do this is Sedgar's partner Wolf. Unless you get horribly RNG screwed, Sedgar will not disappoint. Need a replacement Horseman, Hero, Warrior, Berserker, or General? Try Sedgar. Keep in mind that he has one less base point of resistance than the average, so that should be kept in mind. Some time as a Sorcerer or giving him a Talisman can help with that.
Wolf is a similar character to Sedgar; he is promoted, and has a BST of a non-promoted, but has ridiculously high growth rates. However, Wolf comes at level 3, whereas Sedgar comes at level 1, so Wolf has slightly less room for improvement. However, Wolf is still a fairly solid character once he starts getting momentum. Not much else to say.
Out of all of the pre-promotes in the entire game, two of them are excellent, some of them are okay, and the rest are filler characters that are not worth using later in the game unless you completely messed up. In Wendell's case, the latter applies. Only two of his stats are mediocre at best, and the rest are not very good at all. He may be okay using in Chapters 5-10, but after that, you can give him the axe. I really do not want to compare him to better magic users, like Merric, Linde, Bord, or Caesar. Nobody can hide the fact that Wendell is basically a stereotypical pre-promote with low stats and low growth rates.
Julian joins earlier than Rickard, and has higher HP, skill, luck, and defense. His strength and speed are pretty much the same as well. Unless Julian died, there is not much reason to use Rickard unless you want two thieves, though one is generally enough. Julian can develop much quicker and pull his weight much easier, whereas Rickard can barely hit or take a weak attack. I know I probably sound biased here, but Julian is a generally better choice due to earlier joining time and having the same or higher stats.
Athena is okay, but she lacks luck and defense, and though her strength is okay, it does not distinguish her from other potential swordmasters, like Catria, Radd, or Cain. She has that stereotypical high luck and skill, but she is just average. (AND POSSESSED; SHE SPEAKS AS THOUGH SHE IS POSSESSED WITH A DEMON) Ignore the capped sentence. But seriously, she is not stellar, but not aggressively mediocre. She is average.
Bantu looks powerful early on with his ability to use a Dragonstone, but later in the game, he will find himself struggling to keep with with his fellow teammates. However, you need Bantu to recruit Tiki, who is a very useful unit. Thus, though the game encourages you to kill off unwanted characters, it is not worth killing Bantu off until you get Tiki, as Bantu is the only one who can make her turn her coats and join your cause. In easier modes, Bantu can be okay, but his capabilities quickly become overshadowed. However, Tiki is a great character that only he can recruit, and even if you want to go to that one side chapter, there is still a way to do that while getting Tiki and the Falchion:
- Step 1: Give Tiki the Falchion.
- Step 2: Kill off Tiki. At the beginning of the next chapter, the Falchion will appear in the convoy.
- Step 3: During the side-chapter, use the one shot on the Aum staff to revive Tiki.
Caesar can literally shine in every class he has available, even Dark Mage, thanks to a slightly higher magic and HP growth rate than the norm. Although he joins at Chapter 8 at level 3 at a time where most of your units are level 8 or higher, Caesar has no problem catching up and proving to be a useful unit. Only his luck and defense growths are arguably meager as a Mercenary/Hero, and even then, Caesar's other stats balance them out. He literally fails to fail in any class, even as a Dark Mage. He has solid HP and magic growths in the magically-based class, and although his magic growth is basically non-existent, some time as a Knight can accommodate for that by giving him a few points in defense before reclassing to Dark Mage.
Despite joining at level 1 at a point when most of your units are level are level 8 or higher, Radd can still catch up and be a useful unit. He is a much more balanced choice for Swordmaster than Nabarl; his strength and defense growths are higher, allowing him to grow more in those stats. Despite having awful base luck, he has a good luck growth to bring him up to par. I never tried Radd in any other class, but he really shines as a Swordmaster. Definitely consider Radd as a replacement Swordmaster.
All of Roger's physical stats as a level 20 General are very comely and appealing (even his luck; do not forget that 80% growth rate in luck), except for skill and speed. However, low speed is a characteristic of a General to begin with, so what about that low skill? Technically speaking, he does have a stellar luck growth rate to balance that out, which no other potential General can boast of. He can beat out units with Killer weapons most of the time, and all he really struggles with is with critical hits and attack speed. You have forging and luck stats to compensate for low skill, so does that mean that Roger is a good unit?
It all depends on what you are looking for. If you want a General with good physical stats across the board, then you are characterizing someone in Shadow Dragon who does not even exist. If you are looking for a General with decent skill and speed while still maintaining the signature tanking abilities, then Sedgar and Wolf are your best choices. What Roger really offers is the ability to completely shut down users with Killer weapons. Of course, his low skill and speed need to be compensated for, but Roger has a key trait that no other potential General can boast of in an excellent luck growth rate. Luck is not his only good stat either, as his tanking and walling capabilities are still very good, though he has problems connecting hits. If a General with high luck is not what you are looking for, but a General with high skill and speed while maintaining usable stats elsewhere, then Roger is not your best choice; try Sedgar or Wolf, maybe even Caesar.
Jeorge looks somewhat usable when you first get him. The truth is, his starting advantages become of old later in the game. Frey, Cain/Abel, and Catria/Est can all overshadow Jeorge as a Sniper, and prove to be much more consistent. Even in Normal Mode, his damage output is pretty pathetic unless you give him forged weapons or spam Energy Drops. Strength is not his only issue, as his ability to take a single hit gets worse and worse as the game progresses. Even Gordin and Norne will overshadow Jeorge, and they are units that lack a lot of firepower. Unless you manipulate the in-game mechanics or get lucky with the RNG, you are better off using someone else than Jeorge.
Despite her low base stats, Maria's selling point is her high luck growth and resistance growths, allowing her to shine as a magic user. However, her HP, skill, and speed growths are all quite low, giving her a hard time as anything but a magical tank. Luckily, if you her her strengths, she can push through and prove to be a decent unit in what she does. Her healing skills are given competition by Lena, who can use the Hammerne staff, but Maria is not a bad magical unit.
We generally always assume that "mediocre" corresponds with "terrible"; however, it really means "average at best", which describes Minerva. On average, none of her stats particularly stand out. She really cannot deal much damage early on without using up the precious Hauteclere, and pretty much will have mediocre stats throughout the entire game, unless you use stat boosters/manipulate the game's mechanics/get lucky with the RNG. But those three strategies apply to every character, even Jagen and Boah. So really, Minerva is not as bad as Jagen or Boah, but she is not going to pull her weight too far in the higher difficulties without some manipulation or miracle.
Linde is another unit who is specialized around magic, coming with a 50% growth in magic as a Mage, 30% as a Cleric, both of which are impressive for their respective classes. Her HP is a little low, but a modest 40% growth rate can bring it up to a higher point than you ever expected. As a result, she makes a great cleric, sporting 30% and 35% growth rates in magic and resistance, making her a balanced physical tank, with the signature luck growth, and decent speed and skill growths. She may need a few Dracoshields to boost her horrible defense, but it can be worth it, despite her late join at a low level - Linde is a very powerful and reliable unit when her strengths are used right.
Jake's luck and defense stats are okay, but the rest of his stats just need a small boost. Forging a Stonehoist so it has higher accuracy is recommended, as Jake's skill stat is a little low. His speed is also pretty bad, but Ballisticans cannot double things to begin with. The Boots is a good item to give to him, as it brings his movement from an appalling 4 spaces to a reasonable 6 spaces per turn. Overall, give a few stat boosters to him, and he should be fine.
Midia has reasonable skill and speed, but all of her other stats are rather low, which can leave her overshadowed by Cain, Abel, Hardin, the Whitewings, Frey, etc. If her strength growth rate was at 60% rather than 30%, than maybe she could be an okay filler, as she would be a glass cannon, but her strength growth is not that high, and as a result, she really is not that useful, aside from recruiting Astram.
Dolph is actually not a bad unit; while his luck is disappointing, and his strength can be a little low at times, all of his other stats are either average or high. His stats make for a good General, but he can also make to be a bulky Horseman, something you never thought anyone but fan groups would say. He is incredibly annoying to level up due to low level and movement, but he can prove to be an asset if some unit has not been going great as expected. Okay, so he is too difficult to level in Hard 4 or 5 mode, but he can still be a decent unit.
Macellan looks usable as a General right with those good tanking abilities? If you accommodate for his accuracy issues, then maybe so. However, he pretty much only has some higher speed to distinguish himself from Roger, and Wolf pretty much takes Macellan's cake, having all of Macellan's stats, but with higher skill. Both Roger and Wolf also join earlier, and can be trained faster. Albeit Macellan is not terrible, he just has a big handicap, like many other characters in the game, but can still be okay if those flaws are taken care of.
Tomas is plagues by low strength and defense growths that really hinder him. All of his stats bar luck are decent, and as a result, can be a bit of a liability, as he will struggle to one-round foes of average durability. If his strength growth was a little higher, than that problem may not be that big. But decent attack power is critical to defeating the opponent; no attack, no power. Sorry if I sound a little biased here, but Tomas just lacks some needed strength.
Boah has low stats and low growths. As a result, his stats will start and end up low, filling the stereotypical role of a promoted unit. He really is just a filler unit, and not a really good one, as his low stats can leave him as food to the crows. Sorry if I sound biased here, but what I am saying is true. If only he had some more magic, luck, and resistance.....
Like Minerva, Horace is "mediocre": average at best. His HP and defense are not anything distinguishing of a General, and his Strength is a little low. Furthermore, he has both low skill, speed, and luck, and his modest defenses can easily be exploited in higher difficulties. However, in the easier modes, as with most other characters, Horace can be okay. But in higher difficulties, you are better using someone else in the long run.
Both ballisticans, Jake and Beck, lack a bit of HP, strength, and skill, but they are not bad units by any means; they just need a Seraph Robe, Energy Drop, and Secret Book. Forging ballistas is also possible, so their shortcomings are not that difficult to accomodate. Beck has higher HP, speed, and defense than Jake, but lower skill and luck. It really does not matter which one you choose, as they both have their own weaknesses.
Although Astram is one of the better pre-promotes in the game, he does not reach par with Ogma and Caesar, as his base HP, luck, defense, and his defense growth rate are all rather low. He has enough strength and skill to land hits and do a decent amount of damage, but he is not going to take too many hits. As a result, he is more of a filler unit if you lack a Hero and really want one. Keep in mind that you must keep Midia alive until she talks to him and recruits him, so keep that in mind if you plan to get both Astram and Horace.
I like Palla, and I like it when she succeeds, but her horrific luck has always been a thorn in the side. Regardless, Palla fits the Dracoknight class actually rather well, having the defense growth rate to be able to reach 20 defense. And if you do not like Dracoknight because of that low speed cap, Palla actually does not cap it on average, though if you really hate that speed cap, she can always fare pretty well as a Paladin (note: she can reclass to Paladin after promoting), though her luck may still need some Goddess Icons, and maybe, just maybe, a Speedwing. Regardless, Palla is not a bad unit by any means, and though she has some flaws, do not be afraid to use her.
Catria is one of the best characters in the game. Despite joining at a low level, she has the tools to be consistent in every physical class she is able to reclass into. She also has higher speed and luck than Palla, and joins earlier than Est, making her incredibly versatile. She can just wreck the opponent and laugh about it. She also has the same defense growth as Palla, making the Paladin or Falcoknight class the most efficient classes for her with her high speed coming into factor as well. Definitely do not underestimate the low-leveled Whitewing, because she is pretty terrifying.
Arran's stats, as with most pre-promotes, are pretty low. And unlike Wolf and Sedgar, his growth rates, while modest, are not high enough to bring him up to par. You have several Paladins to choose from, and Arran is pretty comparable to Jagen. Although he does have a slightly increased resistance growth rate (5% in contrast to 0%), it is not like he can go into a swarm of magic users and expect to survive. Samson is not that great either, so you may as well just take either village for the weapons you get.
Despite Samson's good growth rates, he lacks the space to level up, having only 10 levels to level up. As a result, his HP and strength wind up very low (much unlike the figure in the Book of Judges!), which is a huge letdown. There are other, more consistent options for a Hero in Ogma, Barst, Wolf, Sedgar, and Caesar, so why not choose from those five instead?
Xane can pretty much transform into any unit you like, except for Manakete. You just stand next to the unit you want to transform into, hit the transform command, and watch the magic as his stats become identical to the unit he is transforming into. If you need an extra thief, transform Xane into one. If you need an extra staff user, transform Xane into one. However, he pretty much cannot take a hit at all while un-transformed, so he needs to be treated with much care. He also can only transform next to the selected unit, and the effect wears off after a few turns. However, the versatility he offers is unparalleled, and is definitely worth recruiting. Xane can either be just some untapped utility you never used, or a crucial member of the squad that cannot be overlooked.
The goodies acquired in the side-chapter are more useful than Etzel strategically (great, I sound materialistic now because of that one statement...), as he is pretty much average at best. He is pretty much the same thing as Minerva and Horace, but with magic, you get the idea. Though his skill and resistance are okay, none of his other stats are particularly useful. I guess you can use him as an emergency healer if you need one...
Why would you use a level 3 character so late in the game? Because her growths are so good. She can form the triangle attack with her sisters, Catria and Palla, to help her take down foes quicker. It should be noted that Catria is easier to train, especially in harder modes, but Est can do okay in the easier modes, like Easy - Hard 2. Her great growths allow her to excel in any non-magical class. However, her HP will always be low (and her defense outside of the Dracoknight class), so a Seraph Robe is a good idea to accommodate for that.
Tiki's skill, speed, and luck are extremely likely to be capped, and her ability to use any Dragonstone is incredibly versatile, especially since she is the most Manakete in the game. However, to recruit her, you need to keep Bantu alive, which is well worth it. But the limited uses of the Divinestone hamper her a lot, as it requires Hammerne spam to keep her up and going. However, Tiki can still use the Firestone, which, although as useful as the Divinestone, is still usable. Tiki is pretty much the best Manakete slayer in the game once she gets momentum, and nothing can break that. Tiki will level up very quickly due to how much EXP opposing Manaketes give, and soon, she will go from finishing off weakened opponents to completely on par with your other units. You cannot overlook Tiki, and keeping Bantu alive to recruit her is well worth it.
Lorenz has some very solid growth rates, but unfortunately.... his base stats are downright pathetic. He has 3 skill when he joins, and at level 20, it hits 13 on average. Even if he was at level 1 when recruited, he would be so much more useful, having more HP, strength, and skill to work with. I blame intelligent systems for him not being as good as he could be.
Ymir is not the worst unit out there, but it does have some fatal flaws. For starters, its luck, speed, and skill are all rather low, and can be worn down rather easily. Secondly, it has pitiful defenses that undermine that great HP stat. As a result, he can be rather inconsistent, and not do as well as you would hope. If you really want a Warrior, then stick to Barst, Caesar, or Sedgar/Wolf. They are generally more consistent units than Ymir, and can get the job done much more efficiently.
Elice wishes she had a much higher base magic and more time to level up, because she joins at level 10 at the second-to-last chapter in the game. However, she can wield any type of staff, and reinforcements in the chapter she joins can keep coming after several turns, giving her several opportunities to level up. However, some Spirit Dust is still highly recommended to boost her magic a little bit if you seek to use her. Also, the access to the Aum Staff can be used in several different ways, so Elice is definitely more useful than one might think.
Nagi really does not offer much over Tiki, but some of the goodies you can get in the sidequest are definitely useful, such as Excalibur and Aura. However, there is still a trick that allows you to get them while still having Tiki and the Falchion: Give Tiki the Falchion and kill her off during the second-to-last chapter. At the beginning of the next chapter, the Falchion will appear in the convoy, and the one use on the Aum Staff can be used to revive Tiki.
However, by the time you get Nagi, Tiki should already be well-leveled, unless she died already. Nagi also struggles a bit to keep up with your other units, as she wishes she could join with a little higher stats to boost her consistency. Nevertheless, Nagi is still okay, just not outstanding.
You get Gotoh in the final chapter if you did not recruit Nagi, and his ability to use any staff bar Aum and any tome bar Imhullu and Aura is definitely an asset. However, his magic rating is pathetic, and can leave him overshadowed by other units. But one thing that is hard to overlook is Gotoh bringing the only Swarm tome you can get in the game without cheating. Put it onto a strong and accurate magic user, like Linde, and you can tear the opponent apart from afar. That is definitely hard to overlook, and it is definitely worth it.
Generic Characters (Unil, Hepto, etc.)
These guys join when your army is at an insanely low level (like 10 units during chapter 18), but they are very generic, and are basically inferior (yes, I said it) to the characters you normally get, such as Cain and Barst. However, access to free gear is always helpful, and these guys can serve as bait units if you want, so do not be afraid to get a few of these guys.
I hope this guide informed you well on how viable the characters in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon are. There are definitely both good and bad characters in this game, so when planning out what units you will use, choose wisely.
Have a nice day.