At the beginning of the game, the player must decide whether Byleth will be male or female. Initially, this doesn’t seem like a big decision and for most of the game, other than recruiting, it really isn’t a big deal. But there are some differences between the two that result in certain classes being more beneficial if Byleth is a male.
While any player can make any class work with male Byleth there are some that he’s naturally geared for and others he isn’t.
Bow based classes certainly have a place in this game, but Byleth shouldn’t be considered for this long range class. His stats and abilities are geared more for up close and personal style of combat which means they’ll be wasted on the Sniper.
The game really has made a point of preparing Byleth to be in the front lines in the thick of things and it’s an odd decision to pull him back to the flanks to shoot from afar. If that’s the players preferred thing go for it, they will just be missing out on a strong sword fighter.
Worst: Wyvern Rider
Wyvern Riders are airborne units that rely upon their axe to deal damage to opponents. Right away one can tell it’s not an ideal fit for our sword wielding hero. Although he does look cool astride one of the Wyverns.
Some players will mold Byleth into a Wyvern Rider for the sake of getting the mastery ability Seal Defense that drops a foes defense stat which is useful for any melee based class. As stated before he certainly looks cool, but he’s living below his potential.
Best: Enlightened One
Considering this class is reserved exclusively for Byleth it is a given that it’s going to be the most powerful and the best choice for the hero. Without spoiling anything Byleth gains access to this class a short ways into the game and is immediately given access to some cool abilities.
The Enlightened One comes with a +5 attack for swords and nullifies any damage received from the terrain. But the real beauty of this class is the mastery ability Sacred Power. Sacred Power grants any allies near Byleth extra adamage and a damage reduction. This is who male Byleth was meant to be so pick this one.
Admittedly this isn’t the strongest of classes, but the synergy between this class’s focus and Byleth’s abilities is too strong to ignore. Mercenary’s utilize strength and speed to wedge a sword in their opponents, with Byleth’s affinity for strength and sword fighting this makes him a great Mercenary.
The Mercenary shouldn’t be a destination class, but one that the player adopts while pursuing something stronger because there aren’t any master abilities.
Again, the hero for the story is not suited for darker paths and the Warlock is about as dark as they come. These black magic wielders fight from behind strong tanks and use their abilities to lay waste to the enemy.
Byleth can make a good Warlock, but his boost to defense and strength are wasted and he won’t receive any benefits to his magic abilities. Sure the Bowbreaker mastery ability that grants +20 to hit and avoidance against bow users is nice, but it’s not the best choice.
It stands to reason that the one gifted with swords and possessing one of the best swords in the game would make Byleth a brilliant Swordmaster. Becoming a master swordmaster comes with a lot of perks like +5 attack and +10 critical when wielding a sword which one should be doing as Byleth.
But the best perk from becoming a Swordmaster is the Combat Art Astra. Astra delivers a series of five attacks at 30% might. Meaning the player will dish out 150% damage on top of the bonuses if the weapon is a sword.
Worst: Dark Knight
It makes sense that the hero of the game would be ill suited for the darker path that comes with being a Dark Knight. These horse riding battle mages like characters with an affinity for magic and dexterity, something Byleth doesn’t naturally start out with.
Even the mastery ability Seal Resistance really only benefits Byleth if he’s going to be using magical attacks, which given his sword abilities he probably shouldn’t be doing. As stated before any class is powerful with Byleth, but Dark Knight isn’t a first pick.
Worst: Bow Knight
Bow Knights are archers on horseback who kite the enemy and take them down with a bow resorting to a lance if things get dicey. Given Byleth’s affinity for close range melee combat it makes Bow Knight an odd choice.
What makes this an even worse decision is that there aren’t any mastery abilities that Byleth could carry over to other classes. Meaning any time he spends here is just a waste if it’s not building towards something more powerful.
It’s hard to think that the hero of the game would be ideally suited to becoming an Assassin, but it’s true Byleth has many natural abilities that align with being a killer hiding in the shadows. Male Byleth’s strength and skill with a sword is further enhanced by Swordfaire which improves attack by +5 when using a sword.
The ability to open doors and chests through skill alone is also a nice ability to have in every battle and Byleth will be in every battle. It also has the nice perk of improving his speed stat which is a little slower compared to female Byleth.
It’s only fitting the hero of the story would be well suited for the Hero class. In fact the Hero class seems to be designed around male Byleth’s core strengths and abilities which was likely no accident. With boosts to strength, defense, and swordplay, it’s the perfect class for male Byleth.
There isn’t a mastery ability or a combat art, but the +5 bonus to sword damage with Swordfaire is handy and is a great class for gearing into the strongest endgame class for Byleth.