@bisonhero: I guess it depends on how much time you're willing to spend grinding, and whether or not you're willing to pay for the EXPonential Growth DLC map.

OK, so, first off, there is no real penalty for leveling as Thief then promoting yourself to Trickster vs going straight into Trickster. Bear with me, this is going to get a bit complicated.

Your character's EXP gain is determined by their Internal Level which is made up of two factors, their Current Level and their Cumulative Level. Current Level is easy to figure out, it's just whatever level your character is. If they are a promoted class their Current Level is their displayed level +20. So for example, gaining EXP as a Knight initially will always be scaled off of your current level up until you promote, at which point it becomes your current level +20. So whether you choose to promote right at level 10 or wait until 20, your first level of Great Knight will always be effectively level 21. Depending on your goals, it may be advantageous to keep leveling your Knight beyond 10 for the easier stats gains early on.

Now comes the tricky part, your Cumulative Level. Cumulative Level is a secondary level modifier that accumulates over time as you use Secondary Seals. First off, know that there is a hard-cap on your Cumulative Level, 20, 30, and 50 for Normal, Hard, and Lunatic respectively. Going from Knight through Great Knight, your Cumulative Level will always be 0 because you have not used any Secondary Seals yet. However, once you want to switch out of Great Knight you will be forced to Secondary Seal at which point your Cumulative Level starts to become a factor.

The way to determine how much Cumulative Level is added with every Secondary Seal is with the following formula: (Current Level - 1) / 2

So, in your example you are only planning to go up to level 5 as a Great Knight before using your Secondary Seal. This means you will have a Current Level of 25 (5 + 20 for being a promoted class). Using the Cumulative Level formula it comes out to (25 - 1) / 2 = 12. From this point on, whenever the game checks your level vs your enemy's to determine you EXP gain, it will always be adding 12 to your Current Level to determine your Internal Level. So even though Kellam will be a level 1 Thief, he will be gaining EXP as if he was level 13 (12 + 1).

But because you will be using a Master Seal to become a Trickster, your Cumulative Level will remain the same until you Secondary Seal from Trickster to Assassin. So whether you spent 0 levels as a Thief or 20 levels as a Thief, your Internal Level at level 1 Trickster will always be 33 (Trickster Level 1 + 20 for being promoted + 12 Cumulative Level).

In conclusion, leveling as a Thief before leveling as a Trickster will have no impact on your future EXP gain. Movement +1 may not be worth it depending on how you end up using him, but the additional stat bumps will make the whole process smoother and have no impact on your future growth rate. And if you're playing on Normal, by the time your reach level 15 Trickster to Secondary Seal into Assassin (or anything else), you're going to be maxing out your Cumulative Level at 20 so your EXP gain is going to be uniformly shitty from that point on.

Also, I'm assuming you plan to level you Assassin to 15, not 10, for Pass. Yes?

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