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!
We finally come down to the last group of characters on our list: The Cavaliers. It’s a class that has become synonymous with Fire Emblem itself, appearing in one form or another in every single title. In each they manage to make themselves essential, mainly down to their coverage of the weapon triangle and their immense movement range.
This title is no different of course, but with so many of them available for use, exactly who should you use? Who is the best Cavalier in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon?
Any players familiar with Shadow Dragon are unlikely to be surprised by Arran’s position in this list. He’s recruited in chapter 16 when you visit his village, though at the time you’ll want to consider if you prefer him or Samson, who resides in the adjacent village.
Unfortunately if you pick Arran, Samson too for that matter, what you’re getting is a very inferior unit. We understand that there are story reasons as to why, but that doesn’t stop him from being the absolute bottom of the barrel. His statistics are nowhere near good enough for a unit joining this late in the game, lagging behind almost all of your current units at the time and serving only to add another body to either the bench, or the death counter. You could maybe get some use out of reclassing him to a Dracoknight. Maybe.
VERDICT: Nowhere near good enough and easily the worst Cavalier type in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
Midia falls into a similar category to Arran, though for somewhat differing reasons. She joins you in chapter 12 along with her merry band of prisoners, upon which you’ll be shown the most generic of Jagen replacements… Only 11 chapters after he joined. Her statistics are very similar to the old man, but she’s unfortunately missed out on being supremely useful for the preceding half of the game, meaning you’re left with a copy of the Paladin that joined you in chapter 1.
There really isn’t much more to it. Were she a Cavalier at level 10 or such then perhaps she could grow into a useful unit, at least making herself useful for the upcoming few chapters by being another body. Alas no, she’s resigned to her cause of being a 100% Jagen backup unit.
VERDICT: Bring her off the bench to recruit a Hero then drop her and never look back.
Two absolutely terrible units down and we’re making our way into the ‘possible’ category. By this we mean that you could use Vyland if you really, really want to. Maybe you like generic Cavaliers with lower than average base stats and growths, stranger things have happened.
He joins in chapter 5 and is immediately overshadowed by most of his compatriots, specifically Harden, Wolf and Sedgar, each of which are considered vastly superior by comparison. We will admit however that this doesn’t mean he cannot be of use – he is a Cavalier after all. If you put a load of levels into him you’ll get something slightly respectable; he’s quite a bit behind the others on this list, but Shadow Dragon is nothing if not malleable.
VERDICT: The weakest non-promoted Cavalier. You can probably make him work but he has no real upside. Avoid this one where possible.
Roshea joins you in the same chapter as Vyland, to a similarly paltry fanfare. In fact, this is probably the Cavalier that we’ve used the least. There’s just something so… Generic about him – perhaps it’s that expression, or the aforementioned proximity to some incredible units.
When it comes to being a useful unit, Roshea has one huge glaring weakness: Speed. It’s terrible, woeful even, to the point where an end game fully levelled version of him will only just break double digits, if you’re lucky!
He only just makes it above Vyland due to his ability to generally take a little less damage and dish out a bit more. Well, when he’s not being hit twice that is…
VERDICT: Barely beats out Vyland. Just about usable but don’t expect any speed at all. If you patch this with a speedwing he’ll turn out alright.
You may or may not be aware of this, but Matthis is essentially a bit of a joke character. The developers have kind of alluded to this in the past, and as such usage of him tends to be limited to joke runs or deliberately using inferior units for fun. We’re nothing if not thorough however, so we were at least willing to give him a shot. Thus we threw Lena at him in Chapter 4 and he joined our side.
We were quite surprised then when we found out that he’s not actually that bad! Sure, his speed and skill aren’t going to set the world alight but the rest of his statistics actually hold up quite well. His health and strength grow to respectable levels and, despite his weak demeanour, his defence isn’t too bad too. He’s not going to take out vast swathes of units alone like some others on this list, but he’s a respectably average Cavalier.
VERDICT: Not as bad as his reputation would suggest. Nothing amazing, but a useful unit in a pinch. Keep him on the bench as a backup.
Frey’s position on this list might be a little controversial: He’s only available on Normal difficulty mode and it’s heavily inferred that he should be the one sacrificed in the prologue, given that he’s not present on any other level. So why is he here?
Well, he’s probably the best Cavalier in the game from a statistical perspective. His health, strength, speed, skill, luck and defence all match the best that this list has to offer, in many cases even surpassing the rest by small margins. His base stats are great and he starts with a ‘D’ in lances, meaning he can immediately use the best weapon in the game, the Javelin.
The question really should be why is he only in fifth place? Well, it’s all about that difficulty level. Normal mode is such an easy mode that you’re going to be stuffed full of units capable of practically solo clearing maps, yet when it comes to higher levels when you could really use a solid Cavalier he’s nowhere to be found. It’s a shame really… We can certainly think of a certain other unit (read: Archer) that we’d have loved to sacrifice to get him on the harder difficulties.
VERDICT: A fantastic Cavalier with all the right stats… Limited to use on a very easy game mode. His beastly stats get him this high, but no further.
Finally, we’re getting into the real A-list Cavaliers now. Hardin joins your group in chapter 5, when you cross the river and save him and his cohorts’ lives, upon which almost all of your units will feel inferior. Just look at those base stats; 9 strength, 8 speed and 8 defence is a fantastic starting point for a unit, so much so that he’s likely to immediately take a slot in your first team squad.
Happily, with the exception of his health these stats don’t fall of at all. As the game goes on you’ll see him grow into a fantastic Cavalier, comparable to the very best the game has to offer. In fact it’s really only his health that stops him reaching the true ‘S’ class tier of units, though we’d argue that his usefulness in the early game really makes up for this. Bonus points for his weapon ranks letting him turn his hand to your best equipment and do significant chunks of damage early on.
VERDICT: Super good Cavalier that you should definitely consider giving a slot in your team. He’s not quite ‘brokenly good’ tier, but a great unit nonetheless.
Perhaps you’ve read our top 5 best characters list. If so then you’re probably wondering how Jagen can only be third when he’s in the top 5?
Well, as a useful unit in Shadow Dragon there can be no arguing that Jagen is in the top 5. On higher difficulties he’s positively essential, to the point where certain difficulties would be impossible without him and his Silver Lance. He’ll be there to kill awkward units, tank powerful attackers and remove otherwise un-killable bosses.
However, when we consider his usefulness throughout the entire game, along with his performance as a Cavalier, he’s not quite the best. He will eventually be overtaken by many units on this list due to his diminished growths, to the point where his end game statistics look positively weak. He can be rescued at this point by becoming a Dracoknight, which proves useful in extending his utility by giving him some extra movement and statistics.
VERDICT: One of the best units in the game and certainly one of the most useful Cavalier types that you’ll use. He’s eventually overtaken, but not before he leaves a lasting impression.
In keeping with the Shadow Dragon tradition, we come now to the two lowly Cavaliers that join you at the start of the game. Or rather, should you have played Normal mode, we come to the singular Cavalier that joins you slightly after the other. Cain ostensibly joins you at the start of the game, immediately showing off the usefulness of his class by being able to take on almost all comers by covering two thirds of the weapon triangle.
We’ve often heard that Cain and Abel are essentially the same unit, but in reality they’re actually quite different. One particular point would be that Cain is statistically superior to Abel in almost every way; his health, defence, luck and strength will likely be higher on most occasions. He’s a fantastic Cavalier that will dwarf the others on this list and prove useful throughout the entirety of Shadow Dragon, regardless of your difficulty level choice.
So why isn’t he occupying the top slot? Well, it’s all about that lance weapon rank now isn’t it…
VERDICT: A fantastic Cavalier unit, worthy of a slot on every team. That ‘E’ in lances just gets him pipped to the post by our final choice..
Yes that’s right, it’s Abel. He is our choice for the best Cavalier in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Our reasons for this are multiple; he’s able to take on almost any situation with his high movement, great statistics and choice of weapons.
He’s the starter Cavalier that can immediately use a Javelin, the best weapon in the game.
Abel joins your team right at the start of the game, so his availability is as good as it gets, though this is also true of Cain and Frey, difficulty depending. He’ll always do a good amount of damage and eventually start to hit twice due to his high speed ratings, though of course some of the other Cavaliers will also do this.
Did we mention he can immediately use the Javelin, unlike Cain who requires significant lance training before he can, and on any difficulty level, unlike Frey.
It might seem like we’re overstating the importance of Javelin use, but anyone that’s played Shadow Dragon on any higher difficulty level will understand. It is probably the most important weapon in the game and it brings immense amounts of utility to countless units. Having the option to hit both from range or up close on enemy phase is positively priceless.
VERDICT: The best Cavalier in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon… ‘Cause he can use Javelin at the start, and that’s worth more than a few stats.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
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