Best Units of Fire Emblem: Awakening
It's been quite a while since I've written a Fire Emblem: Awakening hub, so I'm going to write up one about a topic I'm sure everyone loves to read about (the best units in the game). I'll be listing those units I believe are a step above the rest and an integral part of any high-end army in this game.
Before you keep reading, here are some things to keep in mind:
- "Best of" lists are typically opinionated. In this case, while some of the best units of Fire Emblem: Awakening are clear and cut, others are not so much. So, if you disagree with some of my personal choices, keep that in mind.
- Additionally, as this list will cover units attained all over the game, it's safe to assume that it will have spoilers. If you have just started playing Fire Emblem: Awakening, I recommend you wait until a later time to read this hub. Otherwise, feel free to keep reading!
- This list is brought to you in no particular order. So, just because I mention unit X first doesn't necessarily mean that I consider them the best unit of all.
- As compared to my individual unit hubs, this particular hub is going to gloss over a lot of things for the units I choose to put in the list. If you want more detailed information, don't hesitate to check out the rest of my Fire Emblem: Awakening hubs, also hosted on this very site.
So, without further ado, let us begin.
My first best unit choice is perhaps the safest pick. You'd be hard-pressed to call Donnel anything less than awesome unless you have had an arbitrarily long time to grind and all of your units are stat capped (in which case, Donnel does fall off a bit, but not by much). Here is a list of the things that make Donnel one of the best units of the game:
- He gets extra levels to grow. See, unlike literally every other recruitable unit in Fire Emblem: Awakening, Donnel starts as a Villager. For purposes of promotion (and class changing), Villager is considered as a Tier 0 class. Additionally, Villager is a 30 level class, due to its standing as a Special Class (just like Taguels and Manaketes among certain others). The only drawback is that Villager has low stat caps, so you'll probably want to use a Second Seal on Donnel at Level 15 (once he gets the Underdog skill) instead of waiting till level cap. It's not uncommon to see a Level 1 Mercenary or Fighter Donnel with double-digit stats (with the exceptions of Magic and Resistance usually). Speaking of which...
- Donnel can use a Second Seal to promote into either a Mercenary or a Fighter. This allows you the flexibility of an extra sword-using unit or an extra axe-using unit, all dependent on your army's needs. While some other units can do similar things (class changing to be able to use a different weapon type), only Donnel has the ability to do it without utterly butchering his overall experience growth rate (each time a unit class changes, half of their levels are added behind the scenes to their actual level, making it harder and harder to level up with each subsequent class change), thanks to the fact that Villager is on its own tier for experience penalties (I believe each level of Villager only counts as a half effective level for purposes of calculating experience penalties).
- Aptitude. Not only does Donnel get more levels to work with on his way to Promoted Class 20, all of his growth rates are 20% higher than normal thanks to that skill.
Really, I understand why people might not like to actually get Donnel (you have to keep him alive as a Level 1 Villager AND he must gain a level during the chapter you recruit him in or he won't permanently join), but you should really give him a chance. He has this nasty habit of snowballing given enough experience. He's probably the safest good unit in the entire Fire Emblem: Awakening roster.
The second unit in my list is one of the two protagonists of Fire Emblem: Awakening and the player's avatar for the story. One of the reasons that My Unit is one of the best units of the game is the fact that they can do nearly anything and you can customize their stat bonuses and penalties before the start of a Fire Emblem: Awakening campaign. Here are some other reasons why My Unit (hereafter referred to as MU) is awesome:
- MU is one of only two units in this game that has access to the Tactician class, a unique class that can use both swords and tomes, and has access to perhaps one of the most useful skills in the game in Ignis when they promote to Grandmaster.
- Additionally, MU has access to every non-Special class, non Lord, non gender-restricted in the game. The previous sentence may seem highly restrictive, but it really isn't. A cursory look at Serenes Forest should show you just how many options MU has to work with.
- MU can marry any unit of the opposite gender, including the DLC Spotpass Map units that have no other supports (however, any other DLC units are still off-limits). This allows you to get Shadowgift from Aversa onto a female Morgan or Conquest from Walhart onto a male Morgan.
Given that MU is the player's personal avatar, it would also make sense that the developers of Fire Emblem: Awakening would want to make them one of the strongest units in the game.
I'll concede that it is a partial cop-out to have a category of units instead of a single unit for a section, but I personally feel that Manaketes are that good. There's no Manakete in Fire Emblem: Awakening that I would not put in the top 10 of all units (Tiki is perhaps the worst Manakete on paper, due to her limited supports and her high starting level as compared to the other possible Manaketes, but not even by much). So, why do I think that Manaketes are so awesome? Well:
- They can only use Dragonstones to attack, but Dragonstones can attack at 1-2 range. In addition, Dragonstones boost the stats of their user while equipped and do not participate in the main weapon triangle. This means that Manaketes are on equal footing against all types of enemies.
- Manaketes have beautiful growth rates (most likely to compensate for the fact that they tend to start with sub-par Defense and HP for balance purposes). This means that you will never truly have a bad Manakete.
- As a Special Class, Manaketes can reach Level 30. Additionally, if you're feeling up to it, you can Second Seal a Level 30 Manakete back to a Level 1 Manakete, which will allow your stats to grow to ever more ridiculous heights.
- There's only one skill in the game that allows a unit to deal bonus damage to Manaketes and it is possessed by the Manaketes themselves. Given that you don't see enemy Manaketes at all in the campaign, the only other thing that can deal bonus damage to a Manakete are dragon slaying weapons, which are extremely few and far between.
Basically, if you're unsure of what to do with a certain spot in your army for a certain chapter, feel free to tuck a Manakete in there. You won't be disappointed!
If you're feeling extremely devious, you can pair up Nowi with someone like Gaius and pass down Pegasus Knight so that Nah can get Galeforce (as if she needs the help)!
Now, you may be wondering why Lucina is on this list and Chrom isn't (minor spoiler if you didn't scroll straight to the end of this hub). Well:
- You don't have to take Lucina along on a chapter if you don't want to. Chrom, being the main protagonist of Fire Emblem: Awakening is a compulsory deploy on nearly every single map of the game.
- Lucina's Parallel Falchion is, bar-none, one of the best weapons in the game. It does bonus damage to dragons (you won't see enemy Manaketes, but Wyvern Riders count as dragons, so that's pretty good) and has a whopping 12 attack along with infinite durability and an item use effect as well (Lucina heals 20 HP when she uses the Falchion as an item during her turn).
- Being a female unit with access to the Pegasus Knight class under more situations than not (I believe there are three potential parents that can pass down that class and two that can't), Lucina has access to Galeforce, which gives her arguably more versatility than her father.
- As a child unit, grinding of Chrom and his wife will allow Lucina to join the party with heightened base stats, making her even better.
All in all, I consider Lucina to be the third best child unit (right behind Nah and Morgan). Speaking of Morgan...
I postulate that it is impossible for a "Best units of Fire Emblem: Awakening" article that has MU in the list to NOT have Morgan in the list. After all, Morgan is the MU's progeny. What makes Morgan so good is a lot of the same things that make the MU one of the best units (ability to enter any non-gender locked class among other things). Here's another thing or two that could potentially make Morgan even better than their MU parent under specific circumstances:
- Morgan will inherit any Special Class their non-MU parent has (with the exceptions of Lord and Dancer) and will also inherit Tactician as well (although any of MU's children can inherit Tactician).
- If female, Morgan can eventually get Galeforce via Dark Flier. If male, a female MU can pass down Galeforce. In both cases, Morgan can get Galeforce. Male My Units cannot get Galeforce for themselves.
Basically, take all of the bulleted items I mentioned in the MU section and re-apply them here and you can see why Morgan is one of the best units of the game.
In conclusion, the above listed units represent the very best possibilities for your army in Fire Emblem: Awakening. As noted in the disclaimer at the start of this hub, this is just my personal opinion (tempered with the research I did when I was writing up the individual hubs a few months ago) so feel free to disagree. With that said, if you're not sure who to use in your army, the units listed here are safe picks.
Thank you for all of the praise, feedback, and comments that you have given my Fire Emblem hubs over these past few months. I may not respond to every comment, but I do read them all! :)
Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)
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