Welcome to our character guide, focusing on Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon characters. We’ll be breaking down each of the characters and their classes, and providing our verdicts on which of them deserve to be in your team!
So what exactly is a Hunter in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon? Hunters are, essentially, slightly different Archers. They exclusively use a bow, at least until promotion, and they can only attack from range. Much like their kin they’re frail but fast, the physical glass cannons of the series.
Where they differ from the Archer is within their statistics: The hunter is a stronger-but-slower ranged attacker. Where the Archer might hit twice for medium damage, a Hunter will hit once, but harder. Thematically they’re presented almost as a less precise, rough and ready unit, making up for their lack of practice and skill through brute force. This is supported by their promotion path into Horseman, in which they gain the ability to use swords, and a mount that increases movement significantly.
Unfortunately, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon doesn’t exactly present you with a great deal of options when it comes to these, so who should you use? Who is the best Hunter & Horseman?
Well, we did say you didn’t get much choice now didn’t we? Castor is the only Hunter that you’re given outside of re-classing or pre-promoted units. And in a sure sign of the difficulty yet to come, Castor joins in Chapter 2 when you speak to him with Caeda. Yes that’s right, you have to fly towards a bow wielding enemy with your flying unit to recruit him.
Things don’t exactly get much better once you recruit him either. As you can see by his statistics, the battlefield isn’t exactly going to light up for having him be a part of it. You will manage to get some immediate use out of his higher-than-average Strength, perhaps doing some chip damage and setting up kills in the early chapters, but he’s hampered by woefully low growth rates and he’ll likely fall off before too soon.
We’ve tried we really have, but Shadow Dragon has far too many good options that immediately start to outshine Castor. Reading his average final statistics only worsen this feeling: His strength is likely to be higher than the Archers on offer, but he’ll lose out in every single other category, including a startlingly low health total.
Verdict: Nowhere near good enough. Poor lad.
And so we come to the first of the two pre-promoted units. Well alright, there are more pre-promoted units in the game, but Wolf and Sedgar are The two. They join you in Chapter 5 and immediately succeed in looking like a few fairly average units, firing arrows ineffectually at enemies and generally being quite unhelpful. Their secret however, lies within their growth rates.
To say that they are high would be an understatement. As a Horseman, Wolf has a 160% chance to level health, meaning that in the majority of cases he will get +2 health per level. These also extend to other stats, like a 100% Strength growth and 85% in both Skill and Speed. The result of this is that after a few levels Wolf becomes a good unit, and after a few more he will become one of your best, a title he will hold onto for the remainder of the game.
Sadly, this also means that Wolf will outclass some of your other units, and due to the ease with which classes can be changed in Shadow Dragon, he can easily usurp them. Our favourite choice in this regard is the Hero class, in which Wolf will develop excellent stats all round, and critically gain mastery over two thirds of the weapon triangle, gaining you with a markedly better unit all round.
Verdict: Wolf’s talent is wasted as a Horseman.
Much like Wolf above, Sedgar joins in Chapter 5, and makes up the duo of growth based pre-promotes. Again, he is unfortunately too good for the Horseman class, though his reasons differ from Wolf.
No matter the class you decide for Sedgar he will excel. We’ve used him as a Berserker, in which he gains 200% health and 100% strength growths, turning him into a hellish critical machine. He also makes a wonderful Hero like Wolf. He does have one key difference however: As a General, his defence growth is 110%. What this creates is an immovable monster tank, capable of taking on pretty much anything the game can throw at you, at least from a physical perspective. It’s no wonder he topped our other list.
Verdict: General Sedgar is too good to pass up.
So, who is the best Hunter in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon?
So when it comes down to it, your best units are off being more useful classes and your base Hunter really isn’t good enough to be a useful Horseman. So who should you use? Should you even use one at all?
Well, if you’re anything like us you’ll want to at least try. So what we were looking for was a unit that didn’t really fit well in their base class, but might be able to work and perhaps benefit from being on horseback…
Yes that’s right, we’re reviving one of the Fighter lads: Cord.
Let’s face it, he’s massively overshadowed in his base class by Barst. Well, if we’re honest most units are overshadowed by Barst, but in particular this means that Cord and Bord are almost always relegated to the bench. For Bord his lack of speed is a death knell, but Cord actually has some good base stats and half decent growths, making him the perfect choice for us here.
As a Horseman he can play from range when necessary, which will be required due to his lower than average defence, but he can also jump into melee if necessary, like taking down a distant Archer for example, or helping out with a surround.
We’ve had great fun using Cord as a Hunter & Horseman, and it feels good to liberate him from his home on the bench, it really does. Give this poor old reject a chance. The class has limits of course, and he’s not going to all of a sudden dominate a map, but change him to a Hunter quickly to get his weapon rank going and you might be pleasantly surprised.
No really, change him now, you’re going to need that weapon rank to patch up that less-than-stellar Skill growth…
Verdict: An ideal Hunter & Horseman middle ground.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon