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Fire Emblem gameplay strategies

I suck at FE. I like the characters and the lore, i like the style but i suck at it.

I suck so much that i cant do most games, i died in the tutorial in Path of Radiance, the tutorial!

But i have a friend who, when i watch him play FE, its like he is looking at the Matrix. He can slam through some of the hardest FE games and make it look easy. He just has the brain for it.

To help me he taught me some strategies that could help me, such as the tank formation for movie forward through the map which is Cavalry front, archers and mages in the second line (i think) and your lords last or surrounded by the first waves.

Though i probably remember the tank formation wrong it is a thing and others exist, do you use any and how effective are they?


The Nintendo Knight
formations that work in FE are situational.

Extremely situational.

Some of the more effective defensive formations utilize walls, offensive formations are usually reserved for immobile bosses. With the sole exception of two games, your lord should be on the front lines, and even in the two games where your lord sucks (FE6/The Binding Blade, and especially FE5/Thracia 776 since Leif sucks a big one in 5, despite being the best unit in 4/Genealogy of the Holy War). This is because your lords likely need EXP, especially for promotion which all lords except Marth and Sigurd are capable of doing (And in Marth's case, he goes up to level 30 in the DS remakes, so it's a pseudo promotion once you get to level 21, in Sigurd's case, he is a pre promote). A big part is knowing what units to kill, prioritizing problem units- and in more difficult chapters, not running headlong into the fray with one or two characters.

It's of particular importance for beginners to never let units die, and recruit every single unit, as the game becomes exponentially easier the more units you have and the longer you have them. On unit selection, different games have different units you should focus on (For example, promoting Rhys and Mist in FE9/Path of Radiance is an absolute priority, since Mist is the only Valkyrie in the entire game once she promotes and Rhys is the only unit who can use Light Magic in the entire game once he promotes, and in FE7 Lucius should be leveled up and promoted as he is the best canidate for using Aureola in the endgame, Canas should be leveled up due to being the sole Dark Magic user in the entire game, etc.), so again it's situational depending on the game and your strategy.

The main focus of any Fire Emblem game should be preparing for the final few chapters; almost invariably powerful artifacts known as "Regalia" are collected throughout the games, but they require units bred specifically to use them to be of use- the Regalia are typically the sole weakness of the final boss and enemies in the final chapter, so the main lord will always be able to use a signature regalia (Marth and Falchion for example, or Roy and the Binding Blade).

Formations also depend on the inventory of your units- particularly because you may be benefited greatly by factoring ranged weapons like the Levin Sword or Hand Axe into the mix- as well as what classes you have access to in this particular situation in this particular game.

But, I will run down a few common formations I typically use in the games- for reference, I have cleared with 100% recruitment rating FE2, FE6, FE7, FE8 (Ephraim Route), FE9, FE10, FE11, FE12, FE13, and all three paths of FE14. I will attempt to use classes that appear throughout the entire series as best I can, and use as generic situations as I can, to better illustrate effective strategies.

This strategy is primarily for maps with the defense goal- as they provide you with enclosed environments with walls more often than not. I will be basing this setup primarily on Chapter 5 of FE9, as it is a relatively basic defense map which gives you an area surrounded by a wall with 2 single tile wide entrances to guard from a hoard of enemies.

|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
|------------L------- ___
|---------------------K |K

K= Knight (or suitibly durable unit), R= Unit with a ranged weapon (Mage, Archer, Fighter with Hand Axe, Hero with Levin Sword, etc), H= Healer (unit with staff access) L= Lord (Or, a unit that needs levels)

You essenssially need to block off access to any entrances into the area housing your main units for this- this can be either very easy or extremely difficult, depending on whether the terrain hates you or not. What you want to look for are any sort of opening; the easiest to defend are 1 x 1 openings- but the most crucial aspect of this is you want your frontline unit to not be standing in the actual opening, but rather one space behind the opening. This prevents units from moving past your guard unit and forces any unit that wants to get in to cram itself into the small, cramped space in front of your unit, and also letting your ranged attackers have open season on that unit since they can be positioned at any point adjacent to the "Knight" unit behind the wall. Whenever you have an opening, it sometimes is needed to send someone out to fight the units head on- to kill the boss or save a village, for example- and this is where your lord comes in.

Your "bouncers" will invariably take damage so that is why you want a healer stationed near them- if you only have one healer, make sure they're an equal distance from them if they're equal strength, or place the healer slightly nearer to the weaker ones if that is not the case.


Source of stink
May 21, 2016
5th layer
A more basic strategy is tank ferrying, where you put a tank onto a mounted unit or a more mobile unit, move the mobile unit somewhere far off, and then separate and drop the tank off into an enemy's attack range. Then the tank baits enemy units into attacking it, attracting a bunch of them into one area. Then you take the tank away, heal it, and have everyone attack the units the tank attracted.

Kylo Ken

I will finish what Spyro started
Aug 10, 2011
Something I learned in Lunatic Awakening is to bait the attacks, and to never initiate an attack; at least, one higher difficulties.

Also, asign a role to each character and have them stick to it. Don't attack with your healer/dancer, always keep range for mages/archers, etc.

Don't rush, think ahead, play it safe. Always use the X button to bring up the enemies' attack range and staff range.

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