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!
The Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Myrmidon, simultaneously a bane and a boon to players everywhere. They are the quick physical attackers of the series, always high in Speed, Skill and Evasion, yet middling in Strength and low in Defence. They represent risk in the series, always walking the tightrope between dealing, or indeed suffering, fatal damage.
But it’s always worth it right? If you manage to cultivate them into their promoted version, the Swordmaster, you’re rewarded with a unit capable of constantly double attacking and frequently dealing critical hits. Just… Not in Shadow Dragon. No, you just get a measly +10 hit chance and let’s face it, if your high Skill rating units are struggling to hit, you probably have bigger problems. As their name suggests, they’re also restricted to only using swords which, whilst powerful, are limited in their usage, often requiring your unit be in dangerous positions in order to do damage.
No critical bonus, small defence ratings and a position-limiting weapon leaves us with a burning question: If we’re going to make use of this risky class, who should we use?
Experienced players will no doubt notice that Athena is not the first Myrmidon that you recruit. Well, we have a good reason for that: If we put the best one first, you’re not exactly likely to read the whole article now are you? She’s also only available in a Gaiden chapter, which itself only becomes available if your army has 15 members or below at the end of Chapter 6. So you’re either playing rather erm, poorly, or you’re aware of this and attempting to get her.
Either way, what you’ll get upon recruiting Athena is a unit that can, if used properly, be immediately useful. She starts with some good base stats and there is a good chance that you won’t have put many levels into your first Myrmidon yet. You will note however, that being level 10 already means she won’t get as many levels as your others, potentially limiting her maximum stats.
Surprisingly however, this doesn’t actually limit her too much, and a fully levelled Athena will compete quite well with both Radd and Nabarl in the end game. In our experience she does end up slightly below them in Luck and Defence, but only by a few points, and not enough to relegate her to the bench by any means. In the end though, the awkward route you have to take to recruit her does have to be factored in, and at least in stat values alone, you already have slightly better option by this point.
VERDICT: A viable choice, but not strictly the best.
Boy did we have to think about this one for a while, we really did. Yes, we’re here in 2019 still thinking deeply about Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon – it’s our favourite FE game, so sue us. This was a genuinely difficult decision.
Radd joins you automatically in chapter 8, along with Caesar, in what we consider quite a comedic fashion. No, Radd is not particularly funny by himself, but the fact that a level 1 Myrmidon, a class with a traditionally low Strength, joins in a chapter full of Knights, Cavaliers and basically anything Radd couldn’t even hope to tickle.
Should you decide to carefully cultivate the lad, holding his hand and chipping enemies down for him, you will eventually get a Swordmaster that matches the others. He is likely to have slightly lower luck than Nabarl, so a lower critical chance, but he will have a higher defence and strength rating, meaning good damage and increased durability. In fact, we often find him becoming part of our front lines by the end of the game.
Why isn’t he the best then? Well, it comes down to preference really, and specifically whether you’re likely to train the boy. In general, we tend to gravitate toward higher difficulties, which makes training a late joining level 1 unit that little bit harder. By contrast, our ‘Best’ Myrmidon is usually level 9 at this point, and that gulf is just a bit too wide for our liking.
VERDICT: A great Swordmaster, if you’re prepared to grind.
1. Nabarl (Navarre)
Nabarl is the OG, the original Myrmidon, introducing players to that risk & reward tightrope we described for the first time. In fact, in many ways, he’s responsible for the Blazing Blade lord, Lyn, which is arguably reason enough to be throw out of any ‘best’ article.
Anyway, he joins you in Chapter 3 after falling for what we’ve started to call the ‘Caeda Trap’ – One flutter of her eyelashes and he crosses enemy lines to join your group. Once joined, you’ll immediately notice a few things; he has a ‘C’ weapon rank in Swords, he’s probably immediately the second fastest unit in your team behind his seducer, and he comes with a Killing Edge, which is one of the best swords in the game.
All of this adds up to an immediately viable unit. On the map in which he joins you’ll be able to tear some axe wielding units to shreds, and you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s all powerful. In reality, he is still just a Myrmidon, meaning you’ll have to tow a careful line, but if you can do so you’ll find him a powerful and useful unit for the majority of the game.
You know by now then that he’s our number one choice, but why does he beat the others, especially given Radd’s eventual statistical benefits? The real issue is availability and immediate usefulness. Nabarl joins at a time when your current units are still growing and immediately fits right in, in many cases outperforming them. His weapon rank and Killing Edge mean that you’ll have no trouble including him and feeding him experience, and his recruitment doesn’t require losing characters or babysitting him while he grows.
VERDICT: On balance, Nabarl is the best Myrmidon & Swordmaster in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon