Fire Emblem often has a great selection of classes available, no matter the title. From Archers to mages, the horse riding Cavaliers and even spell slinging mages, there’s always a great deal of choice. That said, not all classes are created equal, and whilst we’ll always be the first to argue that Shadow Dragon is fairly well balanced on some difficulty levels, there are certainly classes that stand out more than others. The following are the five that, for us at least, stand out more than the others.
We’re starting off with probably the best all round class choice in the game, the Dracoknight. Not only does this promoted class have the ability to fly, and as such have supreme command of the map, but it also has the ability to wield the two best sides of the physical weapon triangle, the lance and the axe. These two weapons are made all the more important by the enemies fought in Shadow Dragon, which trend towards lance units the later the game gets, meaning sword users may struggle. Keep this unit away from bows and you’ll see the high defence, strength and speed will combine to shred almost anything you can throw at it.
- Very high mobility.
- Excellent weapon choices, with ranged options available.
- Mobility makes it an ideal choice for keeping weaker characters useful, like Jaegen in the late game.
We’ll level with you, attacking mages really aren’t wholly necessary in Shadow Dragon. The game is full of ranged options or classes that close the distance, and it’s also full of ways to deal with highly armoured units, so a caster can sometimes feel like a bit of a crutch.
Healers, however, are absolutely essential, and thankfully you’ll find plenty of characters throughout the game that are able to turn their hand to a bit of staff wielding. Through their constant health top ups you’ll eventually find them at a high enough level to promote, and it’s here where the truly useful casters can be found. The Bishop class is able to attack with spell tomes alongside their healing, whilst retaining their high staff weapon rank. These factors combined make the class by far the best choice for all of your casting needs.
- Excellent healing through Staff usage.
- Also has access to damaging spells.
- Limited mobility, but they will keep up with your footlocked units.
- Essential on higher difficulties.
Fire Emblem players will be all too aware of Paladins and their benefits. They have mobility, defence and strength in spades, making them ideal classes to take on most situations throughout the entire game. Their usage of swords and lances gives them an option for attacking at range, whilst still being able to take advantage of weapon triangle, or at the very least nullifying it. If you put a little time and experience into your Cavaliers, these monsters will become your default, go-to unit for almost all occasions on the battlefield.
- Great mobility, only beaten by flying units.
- However, they often feature higher Strength and Defence than their floating brethren.
- Fantastic weapon selection, which can feature ranged options.
- Slightly behind Generals in defence, but not by much.
We must make a concession here: It might just be the nature of a few, growth heavy pre-promotes that make the General class so good in Shadow Dragon. Regardless, these characters – Sedgar and Wolf – do exist, and either will excel in this role. That’s not to say that other characters can’t make it work, just that the default choices aren’t the best. The class itself can use spears and bows, which we’ll admit is a strange combination, but the statistics of the General – in particular their defence – make it an absolute monster. Put it down in a choke point and wait for the corpses to pile up.
- Unparalleled defence ratings.
- Often also have a high strength and HP stat, though offset by terrible speed.
- Can be vulnerable to magic, so a potential ideal unit for a Talisman.
- Very low mobility – get them to a choke point and park them there.
And so we make our way to, in our opinion, the best of the bunch. Yes, the others all have some fantastic points, but nothing feels quite as versatile during play than the Hero. The combination of swords and axes equals to good coverage of the weapon triangle, and the increased movement of 8 means you’re getting a foot unit that moves almost as far as some mounted units. Really though, it’s the balance of statistics that you’ll end up with when using a hero. The combined speed, strength and relative defence mean they’ll be a front line unit that can take hits whilst decimating opponents. Our only real problem is the cap on the amount we can use at once.
- Combination of high speed and strength means they’ll do great damage.
- More mobile than most ground units, only just behind mounted classes.
- Fairly good defensively.
- Access to the Axe weapon means they can still attack from range if needed.
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