The Fire Emblem series is perfect for Tier Lists. The games are full of characters with different specialities, classes, strengths and weaknesses, each accompanied with their own visual style. All of this means that players will gravitate towards those that they enjoy, either for their look and feel or their individual power. This leads to a fan base filled with differing opinions, sparking conversations, the occasional argument and yes you guessed it, Tier Lists.
Fire Emblem: Awakening is blissfully full of characters on which to form opinions, almost too many in fact. This is why we’re breaking our Tier Lists down into three; the first generation of characters, a subsequent second generation based on the pairs you create, then one overall list that will finalise our thoughts and focus on the end game. Phew, we better get started then! Below you’ll find our First Generation Tier List, followed by a little write up about each tier!
- My Unit / Avatar
Our Fire Emblem lists, Awakening included, tend towards the higher difficulty levels. We like a good challenge because this is a how we believe tactical RPG games are designed – right on the cusp between victory and failure, with only your skills in between. That being said our S Tier units are those that we found immediately useful, and those that retain their use throughout the game.
The Avatar is an obvious choice, being a powerhouse of a unit in almost every way. Sumia is a flying unit which has tremendous utility in Awakening, and she can promote into the Dark Flier class, home to the most broken ability in the game: Galeforce. Tharja and Panne we found to both be super powerful when they join, mainly due to their statistical prowess and Chrom is just a fantastic supporting unit with the ability to grow into a wildly powerful battler.
These five all featured in our Top 5 First Gen article for good reason. They’re the five that we return to each time we fire up a Lunatic run, and they retain their places even late into the second gen, where some others drop off rather spectacularly.
Our A Tier of units are still a selection of fantastically powerful characters. Each of these tend to feature in our ‘first team’ of units during our runs through Fire Emblem: Awakening. They can hold their own no matter what portion of the game we’re currently in and whilst they don’t quite reach the heights of S Tier, they’re still great units.
Why don’t they reach S Tier? We’ll give a few examples: Frederick is super powerful and essential for the early game, but we’d argue that quite early on he starts to get overshadowed by your growing selection of units, eventually falling off completely. Vaike eventually reaches a great level of power for us, but only if we nurse him through an awkward early game.
Regardless of why, each of these characters has a very small concern that stops them reaching our peak. They’re still very good and we’d encourage that you use them, they’re just not quite untouchable.
The best way for us to summarise the B Tier of units would be that they plug the gaps in our team. Early on in the game, or when your units are restricted, we will pick from these to fill empty spaces in our team. They’re respectable units that are likely to do their job, but don’t expect them to do much more.
Lon’qu for example, can occasionally jump into battle and take out an enemy in an opportune moment, but you’ll soon have to scuttle him behind your ‘good’ units for him to survive. Virion too may have some early use, but his class and statistics just see him fall off far too quickly.
In the end these units are what we would consider ‘acceptable’. They’ll serve a purpose and with a good deal of work you might be able to craft a great unit, but that’s kind of the problem – they require more work than others, and as you rise through the difficulty levels, the time available for such work in more and more limited.
Trash bags at the ready. This group of characters are the absolute bottom end of our choices, hence the C Tier rating. They’re weak when they join, or weak compared to your units when they join, and require significant work to bring them up to speed.
Of course you can make Donnel into a fantastic unit, and you can second seal pretty much anyone into anything in Awakening, but this group either suffer with availability or sheer poor stats to such a degree that it’s really not worth it. Gaius is a bit of an outlier here really, and tends to suffer simply because Thieves just aren’t that good in this game, and you get another person that’s much more capable very early in the game.
That’s the end of our First Gen Tier List for Fire Emblem: Awakening! Let us know what you think about our choices in the comments below. As we mentioned up above we’re going to be doing more of these, along with various other articles around this game, so keep an eye out for more. We update three times a week and at least one of those each week will be Awakening based!
Categories: Fire Emblem: Awakening