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"Fire Emblem: Awakening Units": Vaike Info

I've been playing video games since the tender age of four. As a result, most of my articles are related to video games.

Introduction

This article is going to talk about Vaike, the only Fighter you'll recruit during the course of Fire Emblem: Awakening. Throughout Fire Emblem's history, Axe users have always been associated more with enemy brigands and barbarians than with allied units. In game terms, what this means is that axe users tend to be at a premium for most of the game, meaning that the few you get will usually have to be put to good use!

So, it's Vaike or bust for potential axe using units for at least the first part of Awakening (later on, you can class change other units if you're so inclined). Thus, you may as well get to know him because you'll probably have to use him!

Read on and let's get started with this article on Vaike.

Overview

So, who is Vaike?

Vaike is the game's sole member of the Fighter class that you will be able to recruit during Fire Emblem: Awakening. He's all about the adulation and praise and loves it when people call him Teach. He can also be quite absent-minded, as is evidenced by the fact that he leaves behind his weapon when he joins up with the rest of Chrom's Sheperds.

Where can I get Vaike?

He joins up with Chrom at the start of Chapter 2, like Stahl.

Why should I use Vaike?

Well, in what is the first time during my Unit Info articles, I'm actually going to say that you don't use him. Keep in mind that I talk from a Hard difficulty perspective, and that your Lunatic experiences may vary. However, what I saw a lot in the early levels were a decent amount of sword users and not so many lance users. According to the weapon triangle, Axe beats Lance which beats Sword. This means that Vaike is actually at an overall weapon disadvantage for as long as the enemy uses a lot of sword units.

Summary: I don't use him, but you're free to if you wish.

Minor Spoiler Tip: Of course, Donnel is just three missions away at this point, so I'd hold out and get him, make him a Fighter and use him instead. That's what I did in my playthrough.

Should I use a Second Seal on Vaike?

As you may expect, I didn't. However, as the table below will show you, Vaike might actually benefit overall (albeit very slightly) from becoming a Mercenary. You regain the ability to use Axes if you promote to Hero, so you don't lose the weapon type completely. However, it's on you to determine whether he's worth the extra effort. Because, to me, those growths don't scream out "Essential Team Unit".

Vaike Stat Growth Information At A Glance

ClassHPStrMagSklSpdLckDefRes

Fighter/Warrior

105

75

10

65

50

45

50

10

Mercenary/Hero

105

70

10

70

55

45

50

10

Barbarian/Berserker

110

75

10

60

55

45

45

10

Thief

95

65

15

70

60

45

45

10

Assassin

100

70

10

75

60

45

45

10

Trickster

95

60

25

70

55

45

45

15

See, Vaike is above-average, but he happens to be that way in a game full of excellent recruits, making anyone below the threshold seem terrible in comparison. Sully and Stahl bring more to the table for a longer period of time than Vaike (more weapon types and movement, for two benefits). Being the only unit of a certain class tends to help out your viability by default, but even so, deploying Vaike was never essential for me.

Vaike Skill Information at a Glance

SkillEffectClassLevel

HP +5

Maximum HP +5

Fighter

1

Zeal

Critical +5

Fighter

10

Rally Strength

Strength +4 to all allies within a 3 tile radius for one Turn

Warrior

5

Counter

Returns damage when attacked by an adjacent enemy

Warrior

15

Sol

Recover HP equal to half the damage dealt to the enemy (Chance = Skill%)

Hero

5

Axebreaker

Hit and Avoid +50 when the enemy is equipped with an axe

Hero

15

Fighter is a curious base class. Both of the skills a unit can get as a fighter affect maximum stats. As such, they are wonderful at the start of the game where nobody has hit their five skill limit, but fall off once you have better skills for each skill slot. Even so, five extra HP and critical chance are nothing to scoff at, when they're on a character meant to hit hard and fast.

Having played through the entirety of the game, I have to say that Counter is insanely annoying to face. While you still take the damage from the attack, you also return it in full, meaning that your enemy might defeat themselves if they're not careful (I'm not saying this because it has happened to me, why do you ask?) Given the nature of how it works, Counter actually works better on enemy units (because they have the luxury of throwing their forces at you) than on your own units. As such, if you're going to use Vaike (or much any Fighter to be honest), I'd recommend that you go for the Hero line of skills, just because HP recovery on hit and telling the weapon triangle where it can go place itself when it involves axes is just a beautiful thing all around.

Tips and Tricks for using Vaike

  • As is the tradition for axe users in the Fire Emblem series, Vaike hits like a truck but also gets hit really hard as well. So, I recommend that you keep Vaike shielded behind your sturdier units, such as your Cavaliers, and then pounce on enemies that extend too far into your ranks.
  • Axes get the easiest access to two range weapons out of the three weapon types (for the curious, Swords have it the hardest; the only non-legendary ranged Sword deals damage relative to Magic instead of Strength). Hand Axes are cheap and relatively available for most of the game. Given that you don't get a whole lot of axe users early, you should never have a shortage of range attacks to keep Vaike out of harm's way if necessary.
  • As a Fighter, Vaike's Pair Up bonuses include an obscene boost to Strength. Exploit it! Pair him Up with one of your more durable, but weaker, units and see the two of them wreak havoc!

Now, the last table of this article has spoilers (in the form of unit names and such) if you have just started playing, so feel free skip to the conclusion if that is the case.

Vaike's Possible Supports (*possible spoilers*)

Possible WivesOther Possible Supports

Lissa, Sully, Miriel, Maribelle, Panne, Cordelia, Nowi, Tharja, Olivia, Cherche, My Unit [Female]

Chrom, Lon'qu, My Unit [Male]

Conclusion

In conclusion, Vaike is the first axe user you can get in Fire Emblem: Awakening, and the only unit that starts as a Fighter (you will get some other units down the line that can use axes, but no more Fighters for you, short of class changing, of course). Fighters have a lot of HP, but need it because they take a lot of punishment from all manner of attacks. However, they hit as hard as they get hit, so it becomes a case of "who can hit first?".

You can use Vaike if you want to, but I personally prefer to hold out for Donnel, and just class change him to a Fighter instead.

Feel free to talk about Vaike and things related to him in the comments section. Also, don't hesitate to ask questions if something in this article is unclear!

Until the next time, take care and have fun!

-Winterfate

Comments

Sets on December 28, 2014:

Barbarian Vaike is one of the strongest axe users I've ever had, behind Hector in FE 7.

ytf on October 15, 2014:

Donnel is. Acually a good character

The Lunatic on April 07, 2014:

Seriously, you use Donnel instead of Vaike? If you're grinding with DLC that's OK I guess, but if you're doing a non-DLC Lunatic run, then Vaike is so much better than Pothead, it isn't even funny.

Vaike starts to be useful right on CH3 (there are some Spear wielding knights for him to battle), and you can get him to Lv 7 or so right on Donnel's Paralogue - from now on, Vaike usually kills anything he engages, specially if you get some good axes from Event Tiles or Barrack Events.

Donnel, on the other hand, not only starts on a garbage class, none of his retrain options share a weapon proficiency with said garbage class - so he's back on using Bronze weapons with pitiful Str to try to lob some kills. On Lunatic, this is a waste of time.

Vaike Fighter/Barbarian/Berserker/Hero (Skills to keep: HP+5, Despoil, Axefaire, Sol, Axebreaker) also has a definite advantage over Donnel: gold farming. Again, if you're using the DLC maps that's nothing, but if you're relying only on normal and Spotpass maps, then gold will be a concern, specially after you unlock the Master and Second Seal shops and starts reclassing people around. He can hold chokepoints very consistently, because of his massive HP pool and high Str + Sol makes him much more durable. He lacks Armsthrift, yeah, so I guess you could swap him for Gregor (not Donnel), but Gregor only joins of CH 8; at that time, I usually already have Vaike ready to promote to Berserker.

Joe on November 12, 2013:

Vaike berserker was what I did and he was my go to for taking down anything tough. Pair him up with Lissa to get Owain with both vantage and wrath.

Josh on May 29, 2013:

I personally put the time into Vaike as a fighter, then reclassed him to a Barbarian at level 10. He is absolutely insane, and becomes even better as a Berserker.