Welcome to our 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!
We’re back with another of our Shadow Dragon character ranking articles, this time focusing on the tome toting Mage!
Optimising the glass cannon stereotype, the Mage is an incredibly fragile class that’s likely to fall to even the weakest of physical attackers – give them their extra space of range however, and they’ll demolish many an enemy. If you can nurse them through their weak early game they’ll turn into world beaters. But who is the best Mage in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon?
Linde joins your troop at such a strange time within Shadow Dragon. You’ll recruit her in Chapter 11 along with Jake, but where the Ballistician brings the ability to damage from a huge range, Linde brings well.. Nothing.
Ok, that’s a bit of an understatement, she does bring something: She has a personal tome, the Aura, which can dish out some significant damage and it can only be used by her. Unfortunately, it seems that the tome was introduced simply as a way to balance her around her join time. By the time you get her your team is likely to have plenty of high level units, some even promoted, all with stats far in advance of hers. Your mages in particular will soon become Sages, giving them the ability to heal – something Linde needs even more work to reach.
It’s entirely possible to get her up to speed of course, but the fact that you have to do so in the frankly savage mid game section of Shadow Dragon means she really isn’t worth the trouble. A great backup unit of course, but she occupies the bottom spot out of sheer awkwardness alone.
VERDICT: Strange join time, difficult to get going compared to her classmates. Bench her.
It feels like so long ago, writing our list about the best units in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, that we mentioned a mainstay of the series – The Jagen. Where he acts like your early game guarantor, so Gotoh does for the late game, himself inspiring a tradition that has stuck with the franchise since: The last resort. There to ensure you have the means to complete the title, no matter the sorry state your team might be in.
Gotoh joins you in the last chapter of Shadow Dragon, though only if you’ve not found the Falchion or recruited Tiki. Once joined you will find yourself in possession of an incredibly powerful unit equipped with some of the best items the game has to offer, our favourite of which is the only usable Swarm tome that you get your hands on, something that’s eminently useful on the door-laden last map. On top of this he’s statistically very sound and able to turn his hand to any other tome or stave you might require.
Why then is he third on the list then? Well there is one main reason, and it’s a big one: He’s only available for one chapter. Granted, it’s almost definitely the hardest chapter in the game and he comes with a literal treasure trove of items, but it’s **only one chapter**. Compared in a vaccum he’s right up there with the best, **but the others have been with you through thick and thin, proving themselves over and over again and helping you overcome the entire length of the game**. He’s an absolute beast, of that there can be no doubt, but he just doesn’t put in the legwork to keep up with the two above him in this list.
We still take him on the final battle if we’re honest – he’s too good not to. By that time you’ll have a few units that are no longer pulling their weight, and Gotoh will outdo all of them.
VERDICT: Incredible mage that you should take to the final battle, but when considering the entire game he’s just not around enough to be the best of the best.
Good to see the old chap tradition extends to the mage archetype too – there’s always an old fella isn’t there? Though we support Shadow Dragon technically did it first.
Wendell joins you in chapter 6, assuming you talk to him with Marth. You really should too, just look at those base statistics! 12 speed at that point in the game is truly incredible, so much so in fact that he’s likely to double almost any enemy on the chapter of his recruitment. If that’s not good enough he’s also already promoted, meaning he can use staves at a respectable ‘D’ level, meaning turns spent not attacking don’t go to waste.
His end game stats will be terrible of course, this is true of almost any early joining promoted unit, but during the early, mid and yes even late game Wendell brings so much to the table that it really doesn’t matter that much. His speed will hold up for a significant portion of the game, during which you’ll have a super adaptable unit which, as a bonus, moves further than your lowly un-promoted healers and mages.
Much like Jeorge the Sniper he turns up at the ideal point in the game, especially on higher difficulty levels, giving you a few more options just when you need them. Sure, he’ll eventually be overshadowed in the very late game, but that’s not enough to ignore everything he brings before that point. We salute you old man.
VERDICT: A fantastic unit. He falls off during the late game, but not before you’re fully indebted to him for his early to mid contributions.
We’ll let you in on a secret, so long as you promise to read the rest of our Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon articles: The first units of a given class that join you are generally the best. The makers have all but admitted that the later joiners are essentially worse, serving more as lightly punishing backup units. It’s not always the case of course, the Knight class stands out as an example of the opposite for example, but in general early units do well.
That being said, Merric is the most well rounded, available and statistically sound Mage that you’ll find in Shadow Dragon – we’ve even included an example of his late game statistics, for those that might want to compare him to Gotoh (we can’t remember if we fed him some consumables, but even so he’s a beast). As you can see, at only level 13 in his promoted class he’s already surpassed said late game insurance.
He’s not without fault of course. His early game can be difficult for a number of reasons; he can’t move very far, his speed is pretty low and you’ll be super paranoid about using up his personal tome… Did we mention he comes with the Excalibur – an immensely powerful tome that’s able to one or two shot almost anything in the game? Difficulty permitting of course.
After a short period of babysitting Merric turns into a monster, to the point where you’ll almost audibly hear a click in your mind, the realisation setting in that he’s actually pretty damn powerful and you can use him with confidence, which is such a rarity in Fire Emblem titles in general.
VERDICT: A mage with it’s early game offset by a hugely powerful tome is too good to pass up. In our opinion, Merric is the best Mage/Sage in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon