Fire Emblem: Awakening

Promotion Timing Explained | Fire Emblem: Awakening

Promoting units is, let’s be honest, one of the best parts of a Fire Emblem game. Seeing your favourite characters go from zero to hero – by your hand – is incredibly satisfying, and it’s one of the main pulls of the series for fans. We’ve replayed countless Fire Emblem titles for the sole reason of focusing on and promoting different units. This experimentation keeps fans coming back again and again. When should you promote then? Units come in all different shapes and sizes, they join at different times, some are already promoted and others seem beyond saving. We’re here today to give you our opinion on when, and in some cases who you should promote, broken down into three unit types we’re sure you’ll be familiar with…

Struggling Units

Robin, Fire Emblem: Awakening

During your play through of Awakening, you’re likely to happen upon units that really struggle to keep up. No matter how many rounds of combat and killing blows you feed them, they never quite make the cut. These are often found in the early game, when your group is dotted with new recruits often of similar roles.

Such units have always existed in the Fire Emblem series. Shadow Dragon for example, had units like Gordin, Cord or Draug, all of which struggle after a few maps of use. The Sacred Stones had Gilliam, and The Blazing Blade had Wil, Dorcas and others. Each of these need that bit of assistance in the form of an early promotion, certainly if you want to see much use out of them. Awakening itself, at least in our experience, has this type of unit in abundance, but the following are those that most frequently struggle for us. Give these an early promotion to extend their use, but don’t expect them to see out the whole game without issues.

Promote At Level 10

  • Virion
  • Miriel
  • Stahl
  • Kellam

These units are examples of those ideally positioned to be promoted at level 10. This will extend their usefulness as the game progresses. If they’re left in the base class, their stats may fall behind, which is likely to cause problems when harder maps and enemies begin to approach.


Average Units

Dark Mage, Fire Emblem: Awakening

It’s quite hard to define an ‘Average’ unit in a Fire Emblem game. We can all pick out the best of the best, after all they often form the spine of your team, but who would we consider average? These middle of the pack performers don’t appear as frequently as our other choices here, and often take the form of units you don’t really like, but that seem like a better option than the strugglers.

These units tend to join towards the end of the early game, adding bodies to your group to ensure that early deaths are compensated. We’re often reminded of units such as Ilyana from Path of Radiance, making the perfect replacement for an errant Soren death. If you’re experiencing a normal play through, her joining seems superfluous, but if you’re low on units after a difficult early game she can fill a gap. We recommend promoting these before they reach the cap, but not in front of the real struggling units. They tend to last a bit longer before they reach their peak, so you’re able to get a good amount of use before changes are required. Once they do peak however, often before the level cap, you’ll notice them struggling – this is when you take action. Unfortunately, you’ll often find that RNG sometimes brings some of your high performing units drop into this section if you’re unlucky. Following are some of the Awakening units that we’ve found sit in this section:

Promote At Level 15

  • Sully
  • Vaike
  • Cherche

These units are examples of those that may perform well. If they do, then it’s possible to let them level up further in their base class. If not, then promoting them at level 15 will rescue them, giving their statistics just the boost that they need, extending their use into the mid and late game. Use your judgement here – we’ve had a Vaike that became a statistical monster, so we waited until level 20. We’ve also had a Sully that had very poor growths in the early game, which necessitated an earlier promotion to keep her relevant.


High Performing Units

Anna, Fire Emblem: Awakening

Finally we settle on the real stars of the show. Everybody has their favourites in Fire Emblem games, and they’re almost always units that fit this description. These are characters capable of taking on multiple enemies at once, almost always emerging successful, leading your charge through the majority of levels.

These units don’t tend to have a more frequent join time, rather they bolster your ranks throughout the entirety of the game. When considering these units, we think of Sacred Stones’ Tana, Kieran from Path of Radiance or Fiora from Blazing Blade. These units join and immediately provide a benefit, be it flying or in battle, and they keep this performance all the way to their level cap. Awakening has quite a few of these units, though it’s easy for some to fall behind if they’re not given the necessary attention.

Promote At Level 20

  • Cordelia
  • Tharja
  • Lucina
  • Almost all of the second generation.

These units are the best of the best. The problem here is resisting the temptation to give them a shiny new class before you need to. Do your best to resist and take advantage of every single level up. This will keep them in the tip top shape that you want them to be. Don’t do it at 17, because that gives it 3 less level ups and those extra stats might make all the difference.

Master Seal Locations

You’re going to need a lot of Master Seals to complete all of these promotions, especially if you plan on experimenting with a multitude of units. Following are the places where you can find them:

  • World Map Merchants.
  • Loot from slain enemies (often the ‘boss’ units)
  • Armouries in certain locations.
  • The occasional chest or village.

More details on the location of Master Seals can be found here, at Serenes Forest.

Fire Emblem: Awakening Home Link

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1 reply »

  1. I agree about the whole first list but virion, I’ve figured out that virion is perfect for picking off the enemy from the outside and also that pairing sully with him is actually a good at pair at the start of the game.
    and if you get him enough EXP then he can be very strong sniper.

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