On my first run through of the game playing Normal/Casual, I pretty much abandoned Virion after awhile. It just felt like he wasn't providing as much benefit to me as everything else was. Funny thing is I usually LOVE making use of any character that wields a bow in any game I play. (bow and arrow fanatic or Toxophilite)
I went back and did a second file purely for a street pass team... ended up doing:
Cordelia (Dark Flier) X Gregor (Warrior) = Severa w/ Galeforce & Counter Ended up getting Severa (Bow Knight) with Sol, Astra, and Armsthrift.
I mostly went with Astra, because it was pretty cool to see multiple shots of arrows :P Armsthrift is just a filler for when I play casually with her, otherwise... Axebreaker, Bowbreaker, Rally Skill, Swordfaire, Patience, and All Stats +2 I can shift in whenever. Had her marry my Assassin Inigo (Chrom's's son)
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My Virion is one of my strongest units after just getting to 20 as a Sniper. I tend to huddle my people up to make a moving impenetrable mass of swords and armor, so it helps having someone that can be in the back of that and still take people out.
Plus the whole decimation of flying units thing.
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Longbow users can be quite useful in their own situations, because it's one of the few ways to attack another unit with absolutely no fear of reprisal. Well unless they also have a longbow. Still, for the most part their weak enemy phase makes them more of a burden then an asset. They do well for picking off foes that have strayed from the pack though, but then again most other units can do that and still counter attack.
Stiill, like kyattei said, I find snipers much more useful if you have Galeforce on them. You can kill someone from far away with a longbow, then either move out of the way for enemy phase or switch with your pair up buddy to avoid getting attacked by a million units and unable to counter. Inigo was a good sniper for me, after taking him through Bow Knight instead of Hero, but that's just personal experience.
I was hesitant to use a sniper in my party. But after picking up a bunch of the characters from the paralogues. I ended up having 4 pegasus knights and i was not going to have that. I changed cynthia to an Archer. Now that shes a sniper she is pretty monstrous.
I'd be interested in seeing how a Sniper does in Lunatic+. Double Bow/Long Bow would be the only safe way to attack without being struck first in that mode, and the Galeforce hit-and-away tactic could let you train enemies around all by yourself if the map was large enough...
Which characters can learn Galeforce and end up as Snipers?
That combo is lookin good!
Not 100% sure on this since it's off the top of my head, but I think the list is:
-FeMU -Morgan(m/f) (m needs galeforce passed from FeMU) -Noire (with Gaius or Donnel or MaMU as father) -Lucina (Olivia, Sumia, FeMU as mother) -Cynthia (Chrom or MaMU as father) -Owain (Virion or MaMU as father) -Inigo (Virion, Chrom, or MaMU as father) -Brady (Virion, Chrom, or MaMU as father) -Severa (Virion or MaMU as father) -Any female Spotpass/DLC char + Camus