The Archer unit has always occupied a strange place in the Fire Emblem games. In many ways the effectiveness of a bow user in this series has been determined by the effectiveness of everything else – Awakening for example, had so many powerful classes and units that the humble archer struggled to get noticed. That’s not to say that they cannot be powerful, after all pretty much anything can be made to shine in a Fire Emblem game with enough effort, but historically they’ve needed more work for less reward. Their cause is never helped by first impressions either, after all who could blame a player for turning their nose up at the class when they’re faced with a unit like Radiant Dawn’s Leonardo?
Three Houses is thankfully very different to these older games, having made the weapon and it’s classes very powerful throughout it’s entirety. This is mainly achieved through a combination of character diversity, combat arts and statistical prowess. Still, with such a huge amount of characters on offer, who should you pick for your team? Which units are considered the absolute best Archer types in Three Houses?
Our first choice is likely to be a little polarising. The huge amounts of characters on offer in Three Houses means that there are some statistical powerhouses available for recruitment. We’re sure you’ve heard just how powerful a unit such as Felix is, or how the freakishly strong Lysithea can completely delete units with her magical prowess. Why then, does Ignatz get to take a spot in our top 5? What could this unassuming chap really bring to the table that pushes him above other growth monsters available?
For Ignatz it’s a combination of many things. First up is his personal skill, Watchful Eye, which grants him +20 to his hit rating – this may not sound like much, but when you’re attacking from a greater range with combat arts your accuracy is decreased, making this +20 very valuable. Speaking of which, he has a good selection of combat arts for the archer roles, such as Break Shot, and he’ll learn Hunter’s Volley as a Sniper, which interacts very well with his personal skill. HIs skills are rounded out through the Authority tree, in which he will learn Rally Dex, Speed and eventually Strength.
We’re not about to call Ingatz a spectacular Archer, after all there are 4 better than him that we’ll detail below, but he’s not bad by any stretch. He’s a well balanced unit that will be useful throughout any Three Houses play through, and one that will only grow in value as you scale the difficulty levels. Give him a chance, you might be surprised.
- Personal skill grants him +20 hit, making him ideal for long range combat arts.
- Learns a great deal of Rally skills within his Authority tree.
- Good combat arts such as Break Shot, which reduces the opponents defence.
- Makes for a reliable Sniper, capable of supporting others when his high range attacks are not necessary.
- Additional hit rate gains in value as the difficulty level increases.
We made reference to statistical powerhouses previously, and few are more appropriately described as such than the imported beauty that is Petra. Those meagre starting statistics and timid ways belie a physical powerhouse, a speed demon capable of taking on almost any class and making it shine, one that will stick with you into the very late game and keep on giving. Petra’s talents are numerous, as we’ve noted multiple times before, but she mainly forces her way into this list by sheer power of her statistics.
Well, that’s not the only reason. Yes, her statistics and growths mean that she’ll likely grow into one of the fastest units in your army no matter the role, but her skills work in her favour too. With a Boon in Bows and Axes, she’s capable of grabbing some excellent early skills – Death Blow, for example – and pivoting back into the Bow classes with ease. There she will have access to Waning Shot, which reduces the target’s Strength by 5, and her statistics will make sure she always double attacks with either her auto, or Hunter’s Volley. She does lack the diversity to be considered higher up this list as a pure archer, tending more towards the Assassin class thanks to her multitude of skills, but her stats ensure that she can comfortably sit above most others with Bow auto attacks alone.
- Massive speed growth means she’ll consistently double.
- Boons in Axe and Bow means she can quickly access excellent skills.
- Waning Shot and the Sniper skills means she’ll always be useful as a Bow user.
- Well balanced and high statistics let her pivot in and out of classes whilst still performing well.
Probably the most well suited to her canon role, Bernadetta is and archer through and through. Well, we may be embellishing things there a little bit – it’s perfectly doable to have her as a flying unit for example – but all of her skills and benefits point her towards the Bow end of the equation, and it’s very much worthwhile leaning into this. It’s a trait of the Fire Emblem developers to take a timid, shy character and make them powerful, which is exactly where our purple haired hideaway comes in.
We’ll start with the bad news: Her growths aren’t great, so there is a good chance that you’ll end up with a version of Bernadetta that struggles to double attack as the game progresses. Thankfully she makes up for this in a multitude of ways: Firstly, her personal skill means that she can easily do extra damage, and her crest has a chance to get an extra attack in at no additional cost! Aside from this, she’s one of only a few units that gain access to the Encloser skill, which is a Bow attack that roots the target in place. She’s easy to build into a Bow Knight too thanks to her Boons, which combined with her other benefits makes her an archery force to be reckoned with.
- Personal skill is easy to activate and acts as free additional damage.
- Crest is a nice bonus, albeit hard to rely upon thanks to it’s small activation rate.
- Access to the rarefied Encloser skill, which roots the enemy in place.
- Great Boons for building into a Bow Knight.
- By far the best of the three ‘canon’ Archer units in Three Houses.
- Poor growths means she might not reach the heights of some others.
We’ll level with you here: It was a real toss up between Leonie and our number one choice for occupying the top of the charts. Players familiar with Jeralt fanatic are likely to understand, but let us reinforce it for you: Leonie is one of the absolute best units in the entire game, Bow usage or otherwise. There’s no class, outside of magical options, that she can’t turn her hand to and perform well. In fact, she’s likely to be one of the best units in your entire army, based not only on her statistical prowess but her skill selection too.
To the subject at hand then, and her viability as an archer unit. Her stats lend herself to this for two main reasons; her Strength grows at a good level, and her Speed growth is one of the best in the entire game, ensuring that she double attacks more often than not. Adding to this are her Bow skills, in which she learns Point Blank Volley, an attack which hits twice with increased might, and Break Shot, which as we’ve already covered reduces the target’s Defence. Along with the skills she’d already pick up whilst levelling through the classes – Hunter’s Volley and such – these make her an absolute powerhouse. It’s even easy to activate her personal skill, Rivalry, by positioning her behind a male unit in battle to grab even more might!
- Statistically one of the best units in Three Houses.
- Excellent stats for a Bow unit, Leonie will double attack often.
- Boons make it easy to level her into a Sniper or Bow Knight.
- Great archery skills in Break Shot and Point Blank Volley.
- Up there with Felix as the best non-lord unit type in the game.
Unusually for lists such as these, our final unit choice is not one of the statistical monsters of Three Houses. That’s not to say that Shamir’s statistics aren’t good, far from it, but she’s not really considered ‘up there’ with Felix, Leonie and such. This is mainly due to her medium Strength and Speed growth, however its offset by her starting strength and massive Dex growth. All of this tends to restrict her to Bow based classes alone, but given the subject of our list we really don’t have to care about other classes now do we.
When she first joins your team, admittedly a little later than your base recruits, she will already be promoted into a later class, and her Strength will likely be much higher than most others in your team – certainly the canon archers. This does mean that you’ll need to demote her in order to pick up some earlier skills, but at least you don’t have to go through those early commoner or noble classes to progress. As Shamir scales she’ll learn valuable combat arts, such as Monster Blast, which is a stronger version of a base attack with additional critical chance, and Heavy Draw, which is essentially a stronger base attack that is best used when she cannot double attack an enemy. All of this, along with her starting stats and the ease of promotion into fantastic classes makes Shamir by far our favourite Bow user in Three Houses.
- Fantastic starting stats, including a high Strength.
- Great combat arts in Monster Blast and Heavy Draw.
- Access to the great Sniper skills early on, and easy to push into Bow Knight.
- She joins with a high rank in Bows already.
- Shamir may not double as much as others, but she’ll likely critical quite often.
Categories: Fire Emblem: Three Houses