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Marcus, Geitz, Pent, and Harken all seem really good and many of the others are pretty solid as well. I don't see a good reason to not use them.
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Then use them.
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1st, the correct place to ask this would be the ''answers'' section (sorry if I am being annoying). About the question, most people don't like them because they don't have high growths (how often a stat raises), but it still possible to have a great prepromote and you can beat the game without caring about this. Hope I have been useful.
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Marcus is really useful early and can help in a pinch, he just won't be the greatest Paladin leaving little point in trying to train him proper. I can't say much about Geitz since I never bother training Dart and would rather not bring him in that chapter period whenever I reach it. Pent is excellent with his high bases and A in staves, particularly if your primary healer[s] is/are promoted and you want to avoid letting said person[s] get an S in staves. There is much more to Harken than his Brave Sword. While his sword rank is a bit low, he makes up for it with his relatively high axe rank. I find Harken to be nearly as good as Raven since, even with his lower HP, Harken tends to have more Def.
For the most part these prepromotes are great units to swap in case one or more of your units ends up getting RNG screwed or otherwise.
Louise, Karel and Jaffar are pretty good too.
But with Karel you miss out on a brave sword...
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Louise is good for a Sniper, but that doesn't say much. The best thing about her is her support with Pent. Same thing with Jaffar; he is good for an Assassin, but Assassins aren't very good to begin with. He has no potential to get stronger than he is when you get him, and if he isn't getting crits, requiring expensive weapons, there are much better units you can use in his place. I like Karel, but he is so vastly inferior to Harken. Inferior in stats, starting weapon, and class since Karel is locked to swords. However, as with the other prepromotes, they are all nice if you really need an addition to your team for whatever reason.
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The 4 you listed + Hawkeye and Vaida are pretty much the only ones I use.
Are people the dominant race or are they just overly self absorbed?
Marcus is amazing, especially for ranked/efficieny runs. Outside of those, he's a bit less ideal, but still a solid unit.
Geitz, Harken and Pent are all great units, roughly on par with their non-prepromote counterparts, and require no leveling.
Hawkeye, and Karel if you get him, are both above average considering you don't need to put much work into leveling them.
Isadora's an odd unit, but aside from her HP/Con deficiencies, she's not terrible. Sort of like a watered down Kent. I wouldn't advise using her over any other paladin in the game, though.
Vaida kind of sucks, just because she won't gain more than a couple levels before the end of the game, but she starts with reasonable stats, and she's still a flier, and a prepromote. Far from an ideal unit, but she's not nearly as terrible as people say.
Louise is decent, as archers go. But she's still an archer.
Even Renault has his uses, considering his starting staff skill. I actually ended up using him in the interest of efficiency after letting a healer die in a no-restart run.
So, yeah. At least half of the prepromotes are great, as far as I'm concerned. Only problem is exp. rank, or LA teams. A prepromote, by nature, is going to be better than a non-promoted parallel with similar stats, simply because they don't need exp/promotion items.
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