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Top 10 Pre-Promoted Characters in Fire Emblem

Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Fire Emblem promoted units

Fire Emblem promoted units

Crutch Characters in Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem games typically reward players for devoting effort to weak, low-level characters, who with effort become some of the fiercest in the game thanks to impressive growth rates.

Conversely, most games give you a pre-promoted unit early on; these characters start off way ahead of your unpromoted units and can rescue others in a pinch, but they often lag behind late on thanks to mediocre growth. Still, some are surprisingly potent—these are the 10 best pre-promoted Fire Emblem characters!

Sothe in Radiant Dawn

Sothe in Radiant Dawn

10. Sothe

Game: Radiant Dawn

Poor Sothe always suffers late game; in Path of Radiance, he was strangely prevented from ever upgrading, limiting him to the weak thief class. He's much better in Radiant Dawn, acting as the Dawn Brigade's pre-promoted unit and safety net, but he'll still ultimately fall behind thanks to his class's unfortunate restriction to knife weapons, easily the worst in the game.

Gunter in Fates

Gunter in Fates

9. Gunter

Game: Fates

Gunter's great-knight class makes him an early powerhouse, but like other pre-promoted units, you don't want to overuse him or you'll soak up needed experience from other units. Gunter also has limited support options and lackluster growth rates, sadly limiting him to early-game rescues.

Oifey

Oifey

8. Oifey

Game: Genealogy of the Holy War

Stemming from a Japan-only game, Oifey nonetheless deserves mention for his incredible starting durability, bearing fantastic HP and defense stats. He also wields surprisingly high growth rates.

Really, Oifey's only problem is comparison; he's pretty good for a prepromoter, but will ultimately lag behind the incredible holy weapon-wielding, promotion-bonus second generation characters available.

Catherine

Catherine

7. Catherine

Game: Three Houses

Available early for players in the Blue Lions or Golden Deer houses, Catherine's speed, strength, and bonuses when not assigned a battalion make her a fearsome swordmaster early on. Although her shaky accuracy and luck can hinder her later, her fantastic availability and low starting level (yet impressive base stats) help her scale more than most early beatsticks.

Leonie

Leonie

6. Leonie

Game: Three Houses

Automatically recruited in the Golden Deer house, Leonie's a fantastic all-arounder whose only weakness is poor resistance to magic. Barring that, her impressive growths and base stats make her a fantastic unit throughout the game.

If you join the Blue Lions, Dedue can fulfill a similar role, though with less long-term potential.

Marcus in Blazing Blade

Marcus in Blazing Blade

5. Marcus

Game: Blazing Blade

Appearing in both Binding Blade and its prequel (the first game released overseas) Blazing Blaze, Marcus serves a similar tole in both, a grizzled veteran who starts off strong but gains experience at a sluggish rate.

Marcus lags a bit the farther you progress, but surprisingly decent growths and his excellent Paladin class (providing access to both swords and lances plus bolstered movement) help him stay useful throughout your adventure, especially in Blazing.

Frederick in Heroes

Frederick in Heroes

4. Frederick

Game: Awakening

While Frederick isn't quite as overpowered as most beginning pre-promotes, he's a fantastic addition to your team thanks to his mount, strong defenses, and impressive growths. More than that, Awakening introduced the partner mechanic, letting any two units pair up for bonus stats, and pairing with Frederick works wonders early-game while letting other units accrue experience.

Pent in Blazing Blade

Pent in Blazing Blade

3. Pent

Game: Blazing Blade

Pent joins somewhat late compared to other pre-promotes, and while Blazing Blaze has no shortage of mage options, Pent's a fine sage to add to your ranks. Unlike Erk, Lucius, and Nino, you don't have to work at leveling him, plus he joins with not only an A-rank in staves, making him a fantastic healer, but an A-rank support with his wife, Louise.

Louise's sniper class isn't quite as helpful as Pent's magic, but you'll still want to pair them thanks to their support bonus and simple ease of use.

Seth in Sacred Stones

Seth in Sacred Stones

2. Seth

Game: Sacred Stones

Want Marcus but better? Take Seth, the early paladin in Sacred Stones who actually has fantastic growths, meaning unlike many pre-promotes, you're not ultimately "wasting" experience on him.

Not only that, but Sacred Stones's controversial random map encounters mean you effectively have infinite experience available if you're willing to grind, letting you employ Seth with no long-term repercussion.

Titania in Radiant Dawn

Titania in Radiant Dawn

1. Titania

Game: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn

Want Seth but available in two games? Enter Titania, who manages to somehow remain amazing throughout both Ike's adventures. Her impressive speed lets her consistently double attack enemies, her defenses and HP make even bosses struggle to kill her, and her proficiency in lances and axes provides access to arguably the two best weapon types in her game.

Plus, her class was boosted in PoR and is now able to move even after attacking. Titania's also useful for rescuing allies in trouble and amassing bonus experience thanks to her prowess; this means that unlike most pre-promotes, you basically gain experience for other allies by utilizing Titania.

When to Promote in Fire Emblem

Thanks to the franchise's unique promotion system, you have a tough choice of when to promote your characters, doing so anytime between levels 10-20. Early promotion accesses new abilities and quick power-ups, but misses out on the leveling bonuses you could have otherwise gained.

That said, experience is limited in many FE games, making it impossible to fully level everybody, so don't ignore promotion opportunities when needed. But for now, share your favorite game and I'll see you at our next Fire Emblem countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill