The Cindered Shadows DLC pack for Fire Emblem: Three Houses introduced a myriad of new features, chief among which are the classes. The base game sorely missed some variation in this regard, and whilst we’re almost positive these further options were deliberately omitted, having access to them through the DLC is certainly a nice addition. As per usual with these things however, not all classes are created equal. In fact, we’d argue that the additions feature two badly needed roles and two… Other roles. Anyhow, let’s get down to business and put them to rights in the form of a ranking, shall we?
4. War Monk
The War Monk class makes a welcome return to the series, having debuted in Awakening and been absent ever since. Well alright, we’re not actually sure just how ‘welcome’ this return is, but at the very least we’re always happy to have more class options, no matter how underwhelming they might be. Perhaps we’re being a bit harsh, because in all honesty the class isn’t actually that bad by itself, rather it’s the roster and class choices outside of it that reduce the War Monk to the bottom of our list.
Technically speaking some of the class skills are good. Fistfaire is always nice, the utility that comes with healing is a nice addition and the avoid that comes from it’s Mastery is always nice to have. The real crux of the matter is that students that might like to grab the good parts of this class really have no use for them further. Should you decide to make a female character into a War Cleric, they’ll pick up some great fist mastery and abilities which they can put to great use as… A War Cleric. How about the male characters then? Well, technically grabbing the class mastery here is a good thing, but there are a great deal of better options available and besides, those that you’d like to use in this fashion are very unlikely to benefit from having a few heals. Nigh on any class can work in Fire Emblem games, so we’re not saying you won’t enjoy or find this class useful, it’s just not quite up there with the rest of the DLC options.
- Utility in the form of healing spells.
- Said spells are reliant on the character having access to good Faith spells.
- Some good skills for Fist users.
- Actually pretty good growths all round.
- It’s just quite… Unspectacular.
Next up in our list is the Trickster class, and first we’d like to preface that this is actually a very good class, just not quite up there with the following two on our list. It’s another returning class for the series – in fact they all are – and whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we would have liked something brand new to play with. The class itself is one that focuses on speed and faith magic, essentially positioning itself as the ‘fast’ version of the War Monk, tilted towards swords rather than fists.
Trickster is a class with significant benefits. The class mastery skill – Foul Play – can be used to switch positions with another chosen unit, essentially becoming a short range Warp spell of sorts that you can use and abuse. On top of this the growths are impressive, arguably up there with Assassin and Swordmaster, and it does come with some nice-to-have utility in the form of Locktouch. Much like the War Monk however, this just isn’t a class that you’re likely to settle on. Some characters do work very well with the class, Manuela for example suits it perfectly, but these are exceptions rather than the norm. Fun class to play with for sure, but not the best that the DLC has to offer.
- Foul Play is a fantastic ability to play with.
- Growths are excellent.
- Lucky Seven skill is underwhelming RNG fodder.
- Any spell charges are halved when using the Trickster class.
2. Dark Flier
We suspect some readers, particularly those familiar with Fire Emblem: Awakening, may have expected to see this class at the top of our list. Yes the Dark Flier returns and whilst it’s not quite at it’s uber peak, this is still a very good class. You’ll get to know it in your Cindered Shadows play through where it’s used by Constance to great effect. This does highlight it’s main detriment however, and it’s a pretty big one: It’s a female only class. In fact both of our top choices are… Not sure if that says more about our final two choices or the prior pair..
Happily the class is good enough to make up for this gender gap shortfall. The main benefit should be fairly obvious: You get to fly your squishy-yet-powerful mages in and out of battle with Canto, simultaneously increasing their utility and safety. This in itself is a tremendously powerful part of the class kit, but it’s augmented by a good skill in the form of Black Tomefaire, a fairly useful Mastery in the form of Transmute, and some good all round growths. That last point is not perfect – for some reason the class has no magic growth – but this isn’t the end of the world, especially when most mage units have a good enough growth in this area and benefit from the others on offer.
- Huge benefit of having a very mobile glass cannon.
- Good additional growths, though lacking magic growth.
- Black Tomefaire is a flat increase in spell damage.
- Perfect class for your female casters in the mid to late game.
- Will eventually be beaten out by Gremory in a lot of situations, thanks to an increase in spell charges.
Finally we get to the absolute pinnacle of the DLC class choices, at least in our opinion. As you might imagine it’s another returning class, though this is probably the most tenured of the four, having made it’s debut in the GBA trio of Fire Emblem games. Per usual for the series it’s a spell slinging class that is mounted on horseback, and in Three Houses it plugs the gap that is the mid game route toward the Dark Knight class… For females. Technically we can understand, since males have their hyper-powerful War Master route, but the gap at the top end of the mage tree outside of Dark Knight still stings a little.
Regardless, the Valkyrie is an excellent class and one that often acts as an ideal stopping off point prior to reaching Dark Knight. The main benefit is one that cannot be understated: Increased spell range by +1, for both Black and Dark magic. These two skills in particular are innate to the class, and when combined with the increased mobility they make Valkyrie a very powerful class choice. Think of all those spells that you could use an additional spot of range with! Two range all of a sudden becomes three, allowing another unit to slot into place! The class also comes with Canto and Uncanny Blow, the latter of which significantly increases accuracy when initiating combat, but both of these pale in comparison to the spell range. We never leave home without a Valkyrie, because it creates it’s own slot behind your one and two range units.
- Range increases for both Black and Dark magic is tremendously powerful.
- Increased movement grants excellent utility for spell casters.
- Exponentially increases the power of your offensive and defensive formations.
- Can lead into the Dark Knight class, thanks to sharing skills requirements.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Three Houses