For the handful of people who actually cared about these posts, it’s been quite a while since I did my last Fire Emblem related post. As you might imagine, I’ve decided to drop the series I originally had planned. After writing the character comparison post (and the fact that it went nearly 8,000 words by itself), I realized I was in way over my head for the level of detail I wanted to put into those posts. It was either drop the series or make this blog completely into a gaming blog. I chose the former.
One of the features of Fire Emblem: Fates that I preferred to Fire Emblem: Awakening was the implementation of personal skills for each character. While there where some characters in Awakening (Chrom/Lucina, Donnel, Robin/Morgan) that got unique classes based off of their starting class, most characters picked from the same skill pool. While that’s still true in Fates, each character was also given a personal skill that could not be removed, adding uniqueness to those characters.
In replaying Awakening recently, as well as getting the Fire Emblem: Awakening artbook for Christmas, I began to wonder what the personal skills for each character in the game would be. I’ve tried my best to base these skills off of the character’s personality or story in the game. Since there are three characters (Owain, Severa, Inigo) that overlap between the two games, I’ve addressed them in comparison to their personal skills in Fates.
Warning: Spoilers for Fire Emblem: Awakening. Also, if you don’t care about video games, this is a theorycrafting post. You’ll probably be bored.
First Generation Characters
Personal Skill – Invisible Ties – All units adjacent to Robin with C support or higher receive +10 Hit Rate/+10 Dodge/-5% Damage Received. Bonuses increase by +10/+10/-5% with each additional level of support.
Analysis: Similar to Corrin’s skill in Fates, Robin’s skill as the avatar of the game is tied to the support levels between them and your other team members. Since Robin is a tactician, it only makes sense that the better he knows his comrades, the more the bonus increases.
Personal Skill – Ylissean Brand – Increase the frequency of dual support events by 10% and increases their strength by 10%
Analysis: Though Chrom’s personal weapon, Falchion, and his shield, the Fire Emblem, both play critical roles in the game’s story line, they don’t gain their power until too late in the game for them to be tied to his personal skill. Building off of Chrom’s Lord skills makes more sense from a game long utility standpoint.
Personal Skill – Hidden Lineage – When Lissa is the support unit, enemy critical hits are negated. Weapon and class weaknesses still apply.
Analysis: Most every story line involving Lissa in the game is about how she’s self-conscious that her family brand didn’t appear on her. Giving her this skill leaves players a tough choice on difficult maps early in the game — expose Lissa to level her up as a cleric or keep her as a support unit but sacrifice her growth?
Personal Skill – Pick A God And Pray – When Fredrick is supporting either Chrom or Lissa, +10 critical hit rate. +5 critical hit rate when supporting any other unit.
Analysis: I covered this last time, but I hate Fredrick. His only purposes in Awakening are as an XP suck, to be a better dad than Libra/Virion, and to deliver the most kickass critical hit line in the game. His personal skill reflects this.
Personal Skill – Dame of Valor – If Sully’s opponent is male, damage dealt increases by 10%
Analysis: Considering almost every support of Sully’s involves her kicking the crap out of her future mate in training exercises — usually because they underestimated her — this makes logical sense. She’s not one of the guys, but she’s probably a better soldier.
Personal Skill – Thorn of Roseanne – Adjacent female allies deal +10% damage when attacking, however Virion also takes 25% of damage dealt.
Analysis: Virion is loathed for his flirtatious ways, which both helps his female companions fight harder, but also hurts him. Playing him would require a lot more strategy, particularly in middle levels once more female units are recruited.
Personal Skill – Ravenous – Effects from items used in battle have double impact.
Analysis: Considering the fact that Stahl is constantly hungry, having a benefit from his consumption of items seems only natural. Suddenly Gaius’s Confect gives him +4 Strength, Skill, and Speed, which is useful in a pinch.
Personal Skill – Tenure – If weapon skill level is D or lower, experience growth is doubled. If weapon skill level is B or higher, experience growth is halved.
Analysis: Vaike has always struck me as a guy who got by on strength alone for the longest time, meaning he’s only useful for teaching and learning for a beginner. His weapon growth rates should reflect this.
Personal Skill – Meticulous – If Miriel has been engaged in combat with a unit before, Miriel gains +20 Hit Rate/+20 Dodge.
Analysis: Considering the number of support conversations Miriel has where she gives advice to other characters on how to improve their battle style with small tweaks, she’s definitely one for small details. Those details will let her dodge and hit better once she sees an opponent in battle.
Personal Skill – Animal Whisperer – Mounted, Pegasus, and Wyvern units deal 10% less damage to Sumia.
Analysis: Probably the most natural fit skill in the game considering how we meet Sumia. Her power over animals causes opposing animals to pull up just enough before engaging her that she takes less damage.
Personal Skill – Wallflower – Kellam can end on the same tile as any friendly unit, even if that unit is paired up. If an opponent attacks that tile, Kellam can neither be attacked nor defend.
Analysis: No one notices Kellam. Basically his skill would be Pass on steroids.
Personal Skill – Protector of Ke’ri – When paired with a wounded unit, Lon’Qu gains +20 Hit Rate and +15 Critical Rate.
Analysis: Despite never appearing in Awakening, Ke’ri’s existence is critical to understanding why Lon’Qu fears women. He’s now a sell sword bent on protecting those he supports, making him dangerous if his allies are wounded.
Personal Skill – Dignified Entrance – Gains +10 Magic/+10 Skill at the start of each battle. Bonus decrease by 1 each turn.
Analysis: I have to admit, of all the people on this list, Maribelle is the one character that I had a much better name for a personal skill than I did an actual skill itself. Nothing I thought of seemed to really suit her. The magic/skill bonus is at least useful.
Personal Skill – Apprentice – When paired with another tome user, both Ricken and his support gain +2 Magic/+2 Resistance.
Analysis: Despite the fact that we don’t actually know most of the the characters’ ages, Ricken certainly feels like the youngest character in the game. Yet he’s always trying to learn how to do better magic. The skill is an extension of that.
Personal Skill – Last of My Kind – If Panne is the last unit to move in a turn, she gains +1 movement.
Analysis: Yeah…both taguel skills are going to be based on their ability to move. Just want to warn you about that now.
Personal Skill – Sticky Fingers – If Gaius battles a unit with a better ranked weapon in the same class, Gaius has a 40% chance of stealing that weapon.
Analysis: Dear god do I wish this were a real skill. It’d be very situational, however if you were to put Gaius with a Bronze Sword up against someone with a Killing Edge, Gaius would have a 40% chance to take the Killing Edge for himself. Provided he survives, that is. And yes, sticky fingers is a play on both his thief class and his love of candy.
Personal Skill – Genius – Additional damage dealt to Cordelia by weapon weaknesses/advantages is halved.
Analysis: Fates took the good names for Cordelia’s skill with Caeldori and Subaki’s skills. Point stays the same. Cordelia is underappreciated. She can do everything. I mean, she can reclass into classes that let her use literally every weapon class. She’s a genius.
Personal Skill – Playing House – When Nowi is paired with her S-Support or child, +2 Strength/+10 critical rate. Otherwise, -2 Strength/-10 critical rate.
Analysis: Nowi’s supports with Lon’Qu reference her desire to play house and have a family. Needless to say, being paired with her actual family makes her far more vicious than when she’s not.
Personal Skill – Smash – Critical hits do 6x damage instead of 3x damage, but also use two uses of weapon durability.
Analysis: I really wish there was a relevant skill I could come up with referencing Gregor’s broken English. But alas, the best we’ve got is his love for smashing things.
Personal Skill – Incantations – When Libra heals another unit, he recovers 75% of HP healed.
Analysis: I originally had Libra’s skill as a Nosferatu-like heal-when-attacking skill. That said, considering his high crit rate and penchant for Killer Axes, stereo healing seemed more balanced.
Personal Skill – Shadow – If Tharja is adjacent to or paired with Robin, her S-Support, or her child, Tharja can only attack second, however her skills trigger 10% more frequently.
Analysis: Depending on what skills you give Tharja (hellooooooo Vengeance), this has the potential to be broken as all hell. However, considering how situational it becomes unless you’re constantly using Pair Up, it should be fine. That said, you’re constantly using Pair Up. Meet Chrom with Vengeance.
Personal Skill – Risque – All male units within 2 tiles receive -20 Hit Rate/-20 Dodge. This applies to both enemies and allies.
Analysis: The first couple of times I played through Awakening, I considered Olivia to be a very demure character. Then I read her support logs. And her other dialogue lines. And saw her official artwork. She’s basically trying to be a stripper. Seems distracting on the battlefield.
Personal Skill – Loyal Servant – When paired with any noble character (Chrom, Lissa, Fredrick, or Virion), grants +1 to all stats except Movement and HP to that character.
Analysis: I know Minerva is her dragon and having dragons is her thing, but her support lines indicate she’s a damn good servant and diplomat. She’s arguably the unit I underrated the most in my first assessment, so I’ll make up for it here.
Personal Skill – Bloodlust – Gains +1 Magic for every 15% of HP lost.
Analysis: Here’s a dilemma for you. With this skill, the more Henry is damaged, the stronger he becomes. Combine this with Vengeance and you’ve got a monster if he has high Skill/low HP. But what do you class Henry as? Do you take him out of the Sorceror class to prevent using Nosferatu? Do you leave him in Sorceror so he doesn’t get Lifetaker from the Dark Knight class? Do you just make him a Dread Fighter and say fuck it?
Personal Skill – Farmer – Donnel receives +3 Defense and +10 Dodge if he ends his turn on Plains or Desert.
Analysis: Honestly, I like Mozu’s personal skill from Fates for Donnel, but I didn’t want to repeat it. So let’s make him slightly less frail when recruiting him. Doesn’t help build XP, but doesn’t let him die so easy when defending.
Second Generation Characters
*Note: While Owain, Severa, and Inigo have retained their personal skill titles from Fates, I’ve changed the skill slightly to better reflect their usage in Awakening.
Personal Skill – Iai Counter – If Lucina lands a critical hit on an opponent with full HP, the opponent is killed and Lucina heals 25% of her max HP.
Analysis: Smash references! Smash references everywhere! But seriously. The kids are broken without personal skills. This is about to get nuts.
Personal Skill – Aching Blood* – When Mystletainn is equipped, +10 Critical Rate/+2 Strength
Analysis: As much as Owain makes sense as a Dark Mage in Fates, he’s not quite the same without his trusty blade from Awakening. Even though it’s clearly an inferior sword, Owain is empowered by it.
Personal Skill – Fancy Footwork* – All female units within two tiles gain +2 Speed. Inigo gains +1 movement if he starts the turn within two tiles of any female unit, ally or foe.
Analysis: Considering Inigo’s use of Rally commands in Awakening is pretty limited, playing off of Inigo’s flirtatious mentality as his skill still makes great sense. Just don’t tell Noire. She might go crazy.
Personal Skill – Bard – Whenever Brady heals an allied unit, he gains +1 Magic/+1 Resistance for the remainder of the battle.
Analysis: Similar to Henry’s skill, you’ve got some interesting choices to make with Brady. Do you focus him on healing early to build him up as an indestructible Sage near the end of a level? Note that the skill says heals, meaning using the Rescue staff wouldn’t impact Brady’s stats.
Personal Skill – Duelist – Only receives 50% of Pair Up Bonuses. Kjelle receives +1 Strength/+1 Defense/+1 Skill/+1 Resistance for each turn no allies are within two spaces at turn’s end.
Analysis: Kjelle’s entire recruitment level is all about she wants a one-on-one duel with Cassius. Why not play to it in her skill? Sure, she’ll be handicapped as you’re trying to build her marriage supports, but if you reclass her into a Paladin/Great Knight, she becomes your sweeper.
Personal Skill – Valiant Hero – When Paired Up with another unit, Cynthia’s Dual Guard trigger rate is increased by 25%
Analysis: Basically the inverse of Kjelle. Cynthia wants to be the one to save the day. Needless to say, she becomes quite good at it.
Personal Skill – Fierce Rival* – When supporting her S-Support Unit or her father, if the lead unit triggers a critical hit, Severa is guaranteed a critical hit (if the attack connects). When supporting Cordelia, if Cordelia triggers a critical hit, Severa is guaranteed a critical hit dealing 6x damage (if the attack connects).
Analysis: The one skill that Fates got essentially right. Just add in a rage factor for Severa when her mom gets a critical hit and you’re golden.
Personal Skill – Minerva’s Wrath – Gerome receives 10% less damage from Wyvern/Griffon units and deals 20% more damage to Wyvern/Griffon units.
Analysis: Did you need an anti-wyvern unit? No? Are you really going to turn Batman down though?
Personal Skill – Amnesiac – If weapon skill is D or lower, weapon experience growth is halved. If weapon skill is B or higher, weapon experience growth is doubled.
Analysis: Inverse Vaike. It makes sense considering his/her backstory.
Personal Skill – Rabbit’s Foot – If Yarne receives a hit that drops him below 50% HP, he has a 50% chance to retreat, even if the enemy is mid-attack, as long as there is a free tile to move to.
Analysis: Yarne runs from everything. Easiest skill to write in the entire post.
Personal Skill – Mirage – Once per battle, Laurent may use the Mirage tactic. This ends his turn without attacking. The next attack Laurent takes will deal no damage.
Analysis: The skill is a clear homage to Laurent’s recruitment level, wherein you must find a mirage village. Like his recruitment level, Laurent’s skill is underwhelming and ultimately a disappointment.
Personal Skill – Blood and Thunder – Noire receives one extra hit per attack.
Analysis: A simple skill, yet a useful one for a unit that will likely be a Sniper or a Nosferatu tank in the end game. If Noire doesn’t have Armsthrift, you’re going to go through some weapons, but it’s worth it. The skill is more a nod to her obnoxious speed growth than anything else.
Personal Skill – Blade Catcher – Damage from all swords except Wyrmslayers is halved. Damage from Wyrmslayers is doubled on top of existing bonuses.
Analysis: One of the better battle related supports is that between female Morgan and Nah, where Nah tries to learn to catch swords to save herself from her only weakness, Wyrmslayers. Nah realizes she can’t catch Wyrmslayers in her manakete form, which is when she needs to the most. Hence the doubled damage.
Fire Emblem fans…what did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.