Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

When to Promote in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

When to promote can be a difficult decision in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. On the one hand you may want to hang on, soaking up those final bits of exp as you aim for a late game monster, or do you do it immediately, favouring that instant increased utility and power? These questions can be made even more difficult to answer by a title as unforgiving as Shadow Dragon. Join us then as we look into exactly when and who you should promote in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. We’ll be breaking our advice down into three categories to help you make the decision.

Promoting at Level 10

Elice, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Level 10 is your first opportunity to promote a unit. This comes with one obvious caveat: You’re losing out on the 10 – 20 statistical increases that you’d get whilst levelling, which will almost certainly be some significant gains. So when should you take this option? Well, this option is reserved for units that are currently considered to be struggling to keep up. Perhaps its your myrmidon that just isn’t seeing enough action and is starting to fall behind. Maybe its a very late joiner that you need to bring up to speed as quick as possible – Elice being an ideal example given her level. You should promote at 10 when the unit in question is realistically too far away from contention via the normal levelling methods.

Promotion Summary

  • Promote at 10 if your unit is weaker and you need to use it immediately.
  • Some units might be falling way behind and a quick promotion at level 10 can rescue them.
  • Promote late joining units at 10 to quickly catch them up with your main units.

Recommended Units

  • Elice
  • Maria
  • Tomas
  • Draugin his rightful class of Dark Mage.


Promoting around Level 15

Catria, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Promoting at or around level 15 is probably the most commonly used option in Fire Emblem and Shadow Dragon in particular. Players often find themselves nearing the latter third of the game with their party replete with level 15-ish units. With a limited amount of Master Seals to go around, some of which you may have used on some level 10 units to bring them up to speed, it can be difficult to decide who gets the next.

When deciding to promote around 15, it really comes down to feeling out which units are beginning to struggle, or perhaps you envisage them struggling to level up. A good example of this would be the later joining flying units, Catria, Palla and Est. Of course, flyers are always good at getting experience, but given their late join time they might not get enough of a chance. In this case we would promote them before reaching level 20 to give them a nice boost in the form of better statistics and utility.

Promotion Summary

  • Promote at around 15 if your unit is showing signs of struggling.
  • Units that join late and you’d like to fast track to usefulness.
  • Useful for keeping relevant a strong early unit that is starting to struggle.

Recommended Units

  • Palla
  • Catria
  • Est
  • Ogma
  • Navarre (Nabarl)
  • Roger
  • Cord
  • Merric
  • Radd


Promoting at Level 20

Abel, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Promoting at level 20 is a privilege reserved for only the very best units in your team. They’ll be the characters you’re always picking to start a fight, choke a corridor or take down a boss. They’ll take a beating and still be there asking for more, willing to head back into the fray for your cause. Suffice to say then that you should reserve a level 20 promotion for your best units. These should be your most reliable units that continue to get experience and killing blows no matter how far you get through Shadow Dragon.

This works out well for a few reasons. Not only will you be maximising the levels they get, which means they’ll get more of a chance to grow, but you’ll also end up with an even more powerful unit when you finally do. A few well chosen units that you manage to promote at 20 will often carry you through the latter third of the game, continuing to be the most reliable units in your roster.

Promotion Summary

  • Units that are having no trouble and performing well can afford to wait until level 20.
  • Save a level 20 promotion for the best of the best in your team.
  • Works best with good growth units, since exp gains are lower once promoted.

Recommended Units

  • Able
  • Cain
  • Caeda (Shiida)
  • Barst
  • Hardin

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