Your characters are the most important element of a Fire Emblem game, and with the popularity of the Fire Emblem series at a new high with the release of Three Houses, we’re taking some time out to look back at one of our favourites from the series. Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon is a re-imagining of the series originator released on the Nintendo DS and later on the Virtual Console via the Wii U. Returning to the older games with no prior knowledge can be daunting for new players however, so we’re taking some time out to describe some of the best characters in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, and why!? If you’re looking for an overall ranking of every character, why not check out our Tier List!
A character joining in Chapter 2 alongside two other fighters, Barst immediately stands out due to his insanely high base stats at that point; his strength and speed will mean he’s likely to immediately start taking huge chunks of health out of your opponents and, depending on difficulty level, get double attacks. Starting with a respectable ‘D’ rank in axes also means that the Hand Axe can be used, allowing for some additional utility by attacking from afar.
Barst continues to be useful throughout the entirety of the game too, due to his respectable growth rates in most areas. Sure, that defence rating won’t grow much, but he’ll pack on enough health that he can still stand up to some abuse. Additionally, his normal promotion path will take him onto the Warrior class, allowing him to wield bows and further increasing that utility. He’ll become an ever present in your group set up – reliable, strong and able to adapt to almost every situation.
- Great starting statistics.
- High Strength growth alongside respectable speed.
- Starts with a ‘D’ rank in Axes.
- Excellent mid to late game damage dealer.
Yes it’s the OG character himself, the pre-promote that spawned the archetype, the Jagen. This old man is so well revered by fans of the series, and for good reason: Just look a those starting statistics. Yes, he will gain experience at a snails pace and yes, he does eventually fall off, but during the first third of the game he’s nothing less than essential, especially on higher difficulties – in fact, we’re pretty certain the hardest difficult level is impossible without him.
Best used as a tank in the early game, he can also set up kills for your weaker units whilst pumping out huge damage, mainly due to that innate B ranking in lances and his ownership of an early silver lance. Sure, other units will soon overtake him, but after a few chapters you can change him into a Dracoknight for some much needed early game utility.
- Very high starting statistics.
- Essential in the early game on higher difficulty levels.
- Very limited growth rates.
- Can transition into a flying role to retain usefulness throughout the game.
Speaking of the Dracoknight class, here is an upgraded version. Minerva joins you in chapter 10, after having made a cameo in chapter 7, and immediately puts most of your units to shame. This is mainly accomplished by her joining with a huge axe ranking and a personal weapon, the Hauteclere, which is capable of taking down anything the game can throw at you at the time.
Of course, having another flying unit is a fantastic thing, but Minerva can actually excel in that most rare of classes too: Sniper, where she patches up their usual weak spots with her statistics. This is mostly only advised on higher difficulty levels, but as a bonus, you don’t have to train up any of those awful archer units! Either way you should try your best to make use of Minerva, she’s too good to go to waste.
- Excellent starting statistics.
- Powerful personal weapon, Hauteclere, can deal tremendous damage.
- Somewhat limited growths.
- Able to transition into a Sniper, depending on your team build.
Yes everyone’s favourite manipulative female character makes the list, and she comes with a whole host of benefits: She’s an early flying unit that joins right at the start of the game, making a quick mockery of the terrain and doing huge damage with her personal weapon, the Wing Spear.
If we’re honest, it’s mostly the Wing Spear that we’re rating here, along with Shadow Dragon’s forging capability. With the weapon upgraded, Caeda will almost certainly one or two shot most enemies in the game thanks to her high speed. Sure, her strength isn’t likely to rise very much, nor her defence, but when you have something strong enough to take out the enemy in one round, who cares? At the end of the day, flying is such a boon in Shadow Dragon that you’ll surely find plenty of use for her, to the point where she’ll almost accidentally level up regardless.
- Great growth rates, though somewhat limited Strength.
- Incredible, boss slaying personal weapon in the Wing Spear.
- Available throughout the game.
- Tremendous Speed and personal weapon will carry her far, no matter the game period.
Players of Shadow Dragon likely already know of both Sedgar and Wolf, but they may have brushed them off due to their early showing. They’re two pre-promoted units that join you in chapter 5, and immediately look like the most underwhelming of recruits – just look at those average AF base stats. The real benefits are found in their growth rates, which in some cases reach as high as 200%, meaning they have guaranteed stat increases. Even those stats that do not reach the three figure high, they’re still incredibly high, meaning that assigning them almost any class will result in an incredible unit after a little levelling.
Of the two however, Sedgar stands out due to his 110% defence growth when re-classed into a General. By levelling him as a general, something that can be easily accomplished even on the hardest difficulty, he becomes a complete brick wall, capable of tanking almost anything physical that the game can throw at you and rendering huge swathes of enemies redundant.
- Fantastic growth rates in every area.
- Amazing 110% Defence growth rate as a General class.
- Reasonably early joining time.
- Stat growths are so powerful that he can excel in any class.
- Alongside Sedgar, Wolf can accomplish similar.
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