The Fire Emblem series is replete with optional equipment such as shields. Often these inventory additions are designed to augment a unit’s survivability, but their effects aren’t limited to such menial things. In fact, items designed to be held rather than consumed have been with the Fire Emblem series since it’s inception, such as the Starsphere in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, which prevented decreasing weapon durability. Later this evolved into more traditional items, such as armour, equipment and in the case of this article, Shields. But are they worth it in Three Houses specifically?
Types of Shields
Whilst Three Houses does not specifically designate that shields come in a category of sorts, it’s fairly obvious that they come in two types. The first, which we consider the ‘basic’ type, come with a Protection and Weight statistic, which defines their damage reduction and influence on your chosen unit’s attack speed. The second, more advanced type of shield will still feature these Protection and Weight statistics, but often come with additional benefits to either your offensive or defensive prowess.
It’s worth nothing at this point that Protection increases your physical defence and Weight reduces your overall Attack Speed. This reduction in Attack Speed is determined by taking a unit’s Speed statistic, then removing a Weight minus Strength divided by 5. This is slightly easier to understand in formula form: Attack Speed = Speed – (Weight – Strength/5).
- Leather Shield: +1 Protection, 1 Weight
- Iron Shield: +2 Protection, 2 Weight
- Steel Shield: +3 Protection, 3 Weight
- Silver Shield: +4 Protection, 4 Weight
As you might imagine, these shields are mostly only relevant in the early portions of Three Houses. Whilst they can be found during battle, they can also be purchased from the various shops. We consider these the ‘Basic’ shield types.
- Aurora Shield: +3 Defence, 0 Weight – Removes flying type weakness.
- Dark Aegis Shield: +10 Defence, +10 Resilience, 6 Weight – Chance to halve damage taken when used alongside the Crest of Fraldarius.
- Aegis Shield: +6 Defence, +3 Resilience, 6 Weight – Chance to increase damage done when used alongside the Crest of Fraldarius.
- Hexlock Shield: +2 Defence, +4 Resilience, 5 Weight – +4 Resilience
- Ochain Shield: +6 Defence, 4 Weight – Nullifies critical attacks and restores HP every turn.
- Kadmos Shield: +3 Defence, 0 Weight – Removes Heavy Armour weakness.
- Lampos Shield: +3 Defence, 0 Weight – Removes Cavalry weakness.
- Seiros Shield: +5 Defence, 3 Weight – Halves damage taken by Monsters and restores HP every turn.
- Talisman Shield: +1 Defence, +2 Resilience, 4 Weight – +2 Resilience.
As noted, the more advanced shield types are characterised by their inclusion of additional effects. These can range from a simple increase to Resilience, to effects that completely change the play style of a unit, such as the Aurora Shield allowing your flyers to take on Bow units. These are considerably more valuable and tend to be found as rewards or loot from enemies that are difficult to defeat.
So are Shields worth it?
In short, shields are definitely worth it. The basic shields that are available in the early game can be used to bolster weaker units or just improve on stronger units, and the advanced shields are always useful on certain units. Some of these later shields stand out more than others, the Dark Aegis Shield is insanely powerful for example, but even the Resilience increasing versions can have their uses.
Just because we consider them worth it however, does not mean that they should be used on every occasion. Some units are likely to be lower in strength or speed, and should the additional weight take them below an Attack Speed threshold then you might find that they’re double attacked by faster opponents. Unlike some of the older Fire Emblem games, Three Houses displays Attack Speed (AS) right there on the unit screen, so there’s no excuse for weighing yourself down and losing a unit to a rogue double!
Categories: Fire Emblem: Three Houses