In a Fire Emblem game, your skills really make or break your units. Sure, some classes might have fantastic statistics, and some characters may have excellent growth rates, but without the right skills they’ll be rendered useless. This is especially true in Awakening thanks to the second generation of units, and your ability to pass skills down to them via their parents. Your skill choices then, are of paramount importance. It’s no good strapping a load of critical skills on a unit that can’t survive one round of combat for example, nor winding up finding a magic boosting skill on your Warrior now is it? So today we’re going to list our top 10 skills in Fire Emblem: Awakening, to hopefully give you a little guidance when you’re choosing exactly how to build your units.
10. Rally Strength
- Class: Warrior – Level 5
- Description: Grants +4 Strength to all units within a 3 tile radius when the Rally skill is used. Lasts one turn.
In Fire Emblem games, the ‘Rally’ series of skills are often under appreciated, and it’s easy to see why; they’re not flashy, they don’t do big damage and they rarely turn to the tide of a battle alone.
However, for those that have played these games before, ask yourself how many turns you have with units that do nothing. Perhaps you’re moving your units to the next area, or rearranging your defensive position – these are the ideal times to use Rally skills. We’ve chosen strength because almost universally useful, and having a group of units with 4 more points will make a big difference to fights taking place in the next turn.
- Class: Myrmidon – Level 10
- Description: If your unit is below 50% HP, take your turn in battle before the opponent.
Skills that activate when your unit is below half health are always a bit of a risk, and committing to a skill slot to bring one along can feel like a waste. Still, we like Vantage specifically because well, your units will dip below 50% at times, and having something like this to get your damage done first, often killing the attacking unit, can really save the day. It’s not flashy and it’s not huge damage, but it does the job and acts like a nice ‘backup’ skill for units regularly on your front lines.
- Class: Assassin – Level 5
- Description: Chance (Skill/4)% to instantly kill your opponent.
Honestly, we’re not really fans of instant kill attacks in games. Generally speaking they tend to feel cheap, like the developers abandoned all creativity and just lumped an easy skill down in a place they couldn’t fill.
In Awakening however, it’s actually very easy to build critical hit machines. That being the case, we found great success in adding Lethality to a unit that already has a high chance to crit, with weapons that also add to this, and end up creating a one-shot killing monster. Try it, it’s great fun.
- Class: Sage – Level 15
- Description: +5 Magic Stat
As you may know from our pairing article, we love building magic casting monsters. Happily, Fire Emblem: Awakening is blissfully full of opportunities to do so, and Tomefaire is a skill that we universally have positioned on all of our caster units. It’s not complex, it’s not special, it’s just a flat buff to their magic and we’re fine with that.
If we’re honest, it bugs our brain if we have a magic user without this nowadays…
6. Dual Guard+
- Class: Great Knight – Level 15
- Description: An additional 10% more chance to guard for a paired up or surrounding ally.
You’ll note that the majority of our list comprises of skills that focus on eliminating your enemy as quickly as possible. In that regard, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a very aggressive game that rewards pushing forward and attacking your enemies.
It’s not all about going forward however, so having some defensive skills in your repertoire will be a great benefit. Dual Guard+ is a straight buff to the Dual Guard ability, and whilst we could sing it’s design praises, we’ll just say that it’s saved our behinds on more than a few occasions…
- Class: Swordmaster – Level 5
- Description: Your attacks have a chance (Skill/2)% to deal 5 hits, each doing half damage.
Skills such as Astra tend to get a bad rap in Fire Emblem games, mainly due to the way that their units don’t hit hard enough, and the skill tends to munch through weapon durability. Happily neither of these are an issue in Awakening.
You can build world beating units rather easily, and the game throws weapons at you by the fist full, so why not take advantage. Were this active on a unit with high crit, or even Lethality too, you’ll end up with a very high chance to do huge extra damage each turn.
4. Rightful King
- Class: Great Lord – Level 15
- Description: Adds 10% to all skill activation chances.
Much like our previous entry, Tomefaire, Rightful King is another skill that we just cannot do without, at least on units that are able to access it. Having an additional 10% chance for any skill to activate is just too good to pass up. It works well with almost every skill, of course, but pairs particularly well with the other Great Lord skill, Aether, and makes the unit a hugely damaging, self healing beast.
- Class: General – Level 15
- Description: Skill% chance to take half damage from any Lance, Axe, Sword or Beaststone attack.
By now, you’re probably building a pretty good image in your mind regarding some uber units that you want to make, and whilst we’ve included a few defensive options, Pavise takes the cake.
It’s benefit is clear from the description, taking half damage from the majority of sources, but it’s the activation chance that really makes it. Your skill statistic will get very high as the game progresses, and if you pick and choose your units to build, along with consumable stat boosters, you can build some absolute defensive monsters with this skill.
- Class: Great Lord – Level 5
- Description: Chance (Skill/2)% to attack twice, the first of which has the Luna effect (attack ignore half of the enemies defensive stats) and the second has the Sol (heal for half of the damage done) effect.
Attacking twice in a single turn is powerful enough, but having both a damage buff and a self heal tied to it makes Aether an incredible skill. Units will melt to the sheer damage done, and your unit often comes out of the battle in a better state than in began. Tying it to our previously noted Rightful King ensures that it activates a fair bit more than usual too, though we often like to mess around with the builds a bit more than this, with Aether being the only surviving of the two.
- Class: Dark Flier – Level 15
- Description: If your unit kills an opponent on your turn, the unit can take another turn (can only happen once per turn).
Fans of Awakening will have surely seen this coming. Galeforce is as close to having a cheat code as is possible in a Fire Emblem game, with it’s only real downside being it’s difficulty to gain access to. The Dark Flier class is a female only option, and whilst this does restrict you somewhat, remember you can pass skills down a generation.
If we’re honest, it’s a little too broken for our tastes. We love Fire Emblem games when they’re a tight, tactical affair, your battles teetering on the edge of failure each turn – hence our love for Shadow Dragon. Still, there can be no denying just how powerful Galeforce is, and you should probably at least do a run through Awakening where you abuse it as much as possible, but don’t blame us when it removes any semblance of difficulty from the run.