I never really cared for Virion. In Fire Emblem Awakening, I found him obnoxious. His attitude was too over-the-top. It seemed like he was hitting on all of the female units. The only thing I ever felt like he had going for him is that he was an early game archer in both Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Heroes, games where you otherwise may have to wait a bit to get another neutral, ranged unit.
Then, I was forced to use Virion.
When contemplating what to do when gearing up for a Fire Emblem Awakening replay, I turned to someone I trusted to ask for advice about what I could do to shake things up. I was told to pair up Robin with the character I disliked the most. It came down to the two Vs, Virion and Vaike, but I knew what I had to do. I had to pair up Robin and Virion.
What I didn’t expect was to like how it worked. Initially, it just seemed like a good idea on the battlefield. Until I was able to reclassed Robin, I was relying on her magical skills. The two of them would often be next to each other as they worked with ranged attacks, though the nature of magic and her ability to also use a sword also meant she could protect him by standing in the way of people who might try and get close to him.
However, in this Fire Emblem Awakening playthrough, another challenge was to reclass my avatar and take on a job I don’t usually favor. This led to Robin becoming a Knight, then a General. Having a ranged unit staying behind with this less mobile version of the character was a big help. Especially since her speed would be lowered. The two could work together to perhaps finish off people a slower Robin couldn’t handle on her own. Virion was a big help.
Imagine my surprise when he turned into a big help in their support conversations too. I had never had Virion really talk with Robin. In other Fire Emblem Awakening playthroughs, he would be benched rather quickly. Unless I was using him as a father for another child character, I wouldn’t see how he talked to people. This was the first time I had seen him interact with Robin and he actually came across as a good and intelligent person. He knew what he was doing, when it came to a tactical game. He helped Robin hone her skills. He was insightful in a way he wasn’t in other conversations I had seen, and I came to appreciate the talks the two characters had. I actually found myself liking him.
Virion also has a lot of great options when it comes to promoting. His natural evolutionary path is practical. Both an Assassin and Bow Knight can be a huge help. Going with both could eventually be great, since you could get Hit Rate +20 to increase his hit stat if you let him become an Assassin and reach level five. With a Bow Knight, you get Rally Skill by level five, which helps him make people around him more useful.
But what I really appreciated was his ability to eventually take to the skies. As I mentioned earlier, I reclassed Robin and eventually made her into a General. While I could have left Virion as some sort of bow-wielder, since he still would have paired well with my human tank, I decided to go with one of his reclassing options instead. So, Virion became a Wyvern Rider, then a Wyvern Lord. The increased defense and flexibility allowed him to pair with this Robin to create a sort of wall to protect their allies. Especially since the Quick Burn skill, learned at level five, would give him +15 avoidance and hit at the outset of a battle.
I even liked what Virion brought to the table for Morgan. I ended up with a skilled and speedy son who could go ahead and pursue a magical career. He came a Sage who could back his General and Wyvern Lord parents up with some healing or an occasional spell or two. He became a good supporter for the two, which is exactly what these two new defenders needed.
Virion is an abrasive and divisive character. Not everyone is going to like him. I sure didn’t I considered him the first expendable member of my army in other playthroughs. But when I was forced to use him in Fire Emblem Awakening, that second chance was enough to make him seem not only viable, but likable. I enjoyed seeing what he could do, and I looked forward to seeing what sorts of strategies I could create with him as an active member of the team.