Like its predecessor Awakening, Fire Emblem Fates features the ability to marry characters together and produce children to fight in your army. Now new players experiencing this mechanic for the first time may need a little help having kids that are capable on the battlefield. So today I’m going to provide some advice for recruiting kids and giving them skills that compliment their class and abilities.
The second part of this guide will include my thoughts about the different children available in the game; specifically, the children that appear in all three versions – Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation. Since the original writing of this guide, I’ve also created guides for the children of Hoshido and the children of Nohr. If you’re looking for more details about the parent characters there are three guides for them divided in much the same way: characters in all three versions, Hoshidan characters, and Nohrian characters. Use those links to move around, or check out the Fire Emblem Fates Guides link on the sidebar of the page.
Okay, so the very first question that some folks have may very well be: how do you even have kids in this game? It’s actually quite easy. Once you marry two people of the opposite gender together – BAM. Kid. Of course, you have to recruit the kid by playing a mission called a Paralogue. Every child has a unique paralogue where you recruit them.
Now my recommendation is to wait until you’re closer to the end of the game to start recruiting kids – somewhere like chapter twenty-three or so. At this point, most of the characters you’ve been using over the course of the game should be in their advanced classes and developing very good skills. Why does that matter? Well you see, whenever two characters have a child, each one passes a skill down to that child. Because of this, waiting til later in the game allows you to pass powerful skills down to your kids, and if you plan it out well you can pass down skills that they won’t learn as part of their own growth process.
Another reason to wait until later in the game is this: the level you recruit kids at is based on the point of the game that you’re at. You may have noticed that on most maps, the enemies have kind of an average level – most of them are level 7, or level 14, or whatever. When you recruit a child, they are set to that average level in one of two ways. If the level is in a starting class (like samurai, cavalier, archer, troubadour, outlaw, etc), then the child will automatically be set to that level. If the level is in an advanced class (swordmaster, paladin, sniper, strategist, adventurer, etc), the child will be set to level 20 of their base class and given an item called an Offspring Seal. An offspring seal works like a master seal, except the child doesn’t just promote classes – he or she gains levels. If the average level on the map when you recruit them is level 8 of an advanced class, then when you use that offspring seal the child will immediately jump to level 8 of the advanced class you choose. This means that recruiting kids later will allow you to get them at higher levels in addition to starting out with more powerful skills.
LIST OF KIDS
At this point, I’m going to go over each kid individually. For part one, we’ll be dealing with the kids you can unlock in every version (Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation). We’ll talk about how to recruit them, what skills to pass down, and what class promotions and strategies I recommend. If you want to see a particular kid, just CTRL+F search for their name. If you want to know about a character’s child but have no idea what the child’s name is, I’ll also be including the father of the child (or mother, in the one-and-a-half cases where that is relevant).
Parent: Corrin (the Avatar, male or female)
Class: Nohrian Princess
Skill: Draconic Heir – Recover 15% of the user’s max HP at the beginning of the turn if equipped with a Dragonstone
Kana is the son or daughter of the player character (opposite of whatever Corrin is). As such, (s)he has inherited the dragon blood of the Avatar and can transform into a dragon during combat. When you first recruit Kana, you’ll get to see your adorable child enter dragon form through pure rage. Throughout the duration of the chapter, Kana cannot be controlled or spoken to. Beat the chapter, and (s)he’s yours.
Now since the Avatar can marry effectively ANYBODY, you have a ton of options when it comes to passing down skills. When it comes to the Avatar, though, I recommend that at some point you use a Heart Seal to become his/her secondary class for a little bit and learn some skills from that. Pass one of those down to Kana instead, because unless you change Kana’s class, (s)he’s going to be learning the same skills as Corrin and you’ll be wasting an opportunity to pass down something fresh.
So with so many options to choose from, what skills are viable on Kana? I recommend choosing skills based on the combat role you want Kana to fill, and the role that she is naturally inclined towards is a Wall (or Tank, if you prefer that). Dragonstones can’t double attack, so they rarely allow someone to defeat an opponent by themselves. However, dragonstones give a big increase to both defense and resistance, and since Kana recovers HP every turn when equipped with one, (s)he is naturally gifted in taking a defensive position for a period of time. I recommend skills that accompany this Wall role. A good one is Renewal from the Priestess/Great Master class – this skill allows Kana to recover 30% of his/her max HP at the start of every turn. Combined with Draconic Heir, this means that you’re recovering nearly 50% of your max HP at the start of every turn as long as you are wielding a dragonstone. This means that Kana can take a ton of punishment and recover most of that health back without having to put a healer in harm’s way. Another good Wall ability is to pass down Counter or Countermagic (or even both – it is possible). These are defensive skills (learned by the Oni Chieftain and the Priestess/Great Master, respectively) that activate when Kana is attacked by an opponent, dealing the amount of damage they deal back to them if they are adjacent (Counter) or dealing magic damage (Countermagic).If you want to focus more on defense than offense, consider Pavise or Aegis (from the General and Paladin classes, respectively). These abilities have a chance to reduce the damage Kana takes by half, Pavise reducing damage from swords, axes, lances, beaststones, puppet attacks, and monster attacks while Aegis reduces damage from magic, bows, hidden weapons, stones, and dragonstones. If choosing between these two, I’d recommend Aegis – Kana has lower resistance than defense, so the protection from tomes offered by this skill is likely more valuable.
In Birthright and Conquest, Kana has only one promotion option – either the Hoshidan Noble or Nohrian Noble, respectively. In Revelation, (s)he can choose from both. Both classes have one good skill for her Wall role. Hoshidan Nobles get Hoshidan Unity, which increases the activation rate of all skills by 10%. This makes it more likely that Kana will benefit from Pavise or Aegis (and it works on her mighty Dragon Fang skill, too). Nohrian Nobles get Draconic Hex, which reduces all enemy stats by 4 if they survive combat with Kana. This is a fantastic Wall skill – Kana will not likely be getting kills while taking her defensive position, but all the enemies who attack her will suffer from reduced stats, making them easier targets for Kana’s allies.
So, in brief – Kana works best when standing in defense of allies. Combining Renewal with her personal skill causes her to recover a lot of HP each turn without using a healing item or staff, so that’s a great combo. Draconic Hex helps her weaken enemies while she’s standing in defense. If you want her to deal more damage, consider Counter or Countermagic. If you want her to resist more damage, consider Pavise or Aegis.
Class: Sky Knight
Skill: Perfect Pitch – Use “Rally” to heal allies within two spaces who have lower HP than Shigure for 10% of their max HP
Shigure is the pegasus-riding son of Azura, and he has inherited her natural talent for singing (only in the fiction, though; he can’t Sing to give people more turns like his mother can). In the paralogue where you recruit him, he is injured just before the battle and does not participate in the match. Defeat the boss, and Shigure will be yours.
Azura has some pretty decent skills she can pass down to her son. At level 25 she learns Voice of Peace, which causes all enemies within 2 spaces to deal -2 damage. You could also change her to one of her secondary classes like Falcon Knight or Kinshi Knight. Rally Speed and Amaterasu both work well with the strategy that I recommend for Shigure. While Azura can’t marry nearly as many people as the Avatar (after all, Azura has a canon gender), she still has a ton of options which means there are lots of skills her husband can pass to Shigure. So let’s talk about Shigure’s strategy.
Because his personal skill activates from the Rally command, Shigure is naturally inclined to be a Rally character. This is a strategy that first appeared in Fire Emblem Awakening, and it relies on having as many Rally skills as possible on one person so that anyone standing near them will be given incredible boosts. As a pegasus rider, Shigure can travel a lot of distance and it allows him to quickly fly wherever you need him to rally whoever you need him to. His secondary options are the Strategist and the Butler. The former allows him to scoop up Rally Resistance. Additionally, by becoming a Falcon Knight (or making Azura one), Shigure can obtain Rally Speed. So just on his own, Shigure can scoop up two Rally skills, combined with his personal skill Perfect Pitch.
For the purpose of increasing his Rally options, I recommend Arthur (Conquest) or Hayato (Birthright) as marriage options. Arthur can pass down Rally Strength, while Hayato can pass down Rally Magic. Combine these with Shigure’s other Rally skills, and in one turn he can increase his allies’ Speed, Resistance, and Strength/Magic all by 4 points, while also healing them for 10% of their maximum HP. If you decide to go this route and you have access to the Hidden Truths DLC, consider giving your Grandmaster Seal to him so he can learn Rally Spectrum. That ability gives +2 to all stats and stacks with other invididual Rally skills, allowing Shigure to increase stats like Resistance, Speed, and Strength/Magic by 6.
Now if you (like me) are not fond of the Rally strategy, consider using Shigure for more passive aura abilities. This includes stuff like the Kinshi Knight’s Amaterasu and the Strategist’s Inspiration, as well as Azura’s Voice of Peace ability she can pass down. These skills don’t have to be activated – they just work. With these skills, you’ll want Shigure to fly forward and either chill out or try and weaken an enemy, then have everyone come near him for their battles so that they benefit from his bonuses. In this case a good partner for Azura is Jakob, so he can pass down his Gentilhomme skill. With these skills (Voice of Peace, Amaterasu, Inspiration, and Gentilhomme), being within two spaces of Shigure will reduce damage by 4 for men and 6 for women, heal ally HP by 20% at the beginning of each turn, and increase allies’ damage by 2. This approach makes Shigure somewhat more viable in combat (and you don’t have to waste a turn to Rally), but keep in mind that pegasus riders have a pretty niche role on the battlefield and won’t be ideal in every situation. Don’t forget that even though you likely won’t have other Rally skills this way, using Perfect Pitch to help heal nearby allies is still somewhat viable (though 10% is pretty low).
It is possible to combine these strategies to a degree – with a limit of five skills, you can still have Amaterasu, Voice of Peace, Inspiration, Rally Speed, and Rally Resistance. This way you can use both Rally and passive auras to help allies, but it isn’t quite as effective as focusing purely on one strategy over the other.
Shigure is a great support unit thanks not only to his personal skill but also his class selection. Whether you use him to Rally his allies and dramatically increase their stats before battles, or to fly in and provide an aura of support, his presence will make your whole army more effective.
Skill: Born Steward – When battling in My Castle, hit rate and avoid are +20, damage dealt is +2, and damage taken is -2
Dwyer is the son of Jakob and a competent healer and butler. In the paralogue where he joins, he’ll be on the stage as a green allied unit – speak to him with Jakob to recruit him to your side.
Okay, so the first thing to get out of the way is Dwyer’s personal skill, Born Steward. It is only effective in My Castle battles. That means that any battle that is part of the main game will not activate Dwyer’s ability. While not utilizing the personal skill of some characters is somewhat normal, having one that you literally can’t utilize can be somewhat frustrating. However, Dwyer’s skill is not bad – it allows him to perform pretty well in My Castle, and basically doubles the effects of the Inspiration skill.
With Jakob as Dwyer’s father, the most obvious skill to pass down is Live to Serve – this way when Dwyer uses a staff to heal someone, he’ll heal the same amount. Live to Serve is really useful and although Dwyer can get it on his own, you may not want to bother changing his class to a butler just so you can scoop it up. Not when Jakob can pass it down so easily. As far as mothers go, you’ve got a few options. As we learned with Shigure, Voice of Peace couples really well with Inspiration, so Azura could be a good choice. Someone like Nyx or Orochi can pass down useful magical skills like Lifetaker or Tomefaire. You could also marry him to Sakura to pass down a skill such as Renewal or Countermagic.
Dwyer doesn’t necessarily have a “special” strategy like the other characters we have discussed so far, primarily because his personal skill doesn’t complement one. However, Dwyer has access to the powerful and useful Strategist class, a good combination of speed, magical power, and staff usage. Because of this he functions well both offensively as a magical attacker and in a support role as a healer. I highly recommend trying to give him Renewal or Lifetaker so that he can stay closer to the front lines, where his allies will benefit from his aura abilities.
Skill: Mischievous – If this unit initiates combat and deals damage, enemy defense -3 and they may lose their clothes
Sophie and her wild horse Avel are obtainable when you marry off Silas. Simply speak to her during her paralogue with her father and she’ll join the party.
Sophie can get some decent skills from Silas – the cavalier class has two useful branches with decent skills along each one, so you can choose one for Silas and do the opposite for Sophie. In my opnion, both function better as paladins than great knights, but if you plan to use Sophie in place of Silas then you can make him a great knight just for skill passing. Armored Blow is a particularly good choice that will make Sophie very effective when she initiates an attack.
For mothers, the Avatar is a great option (for fiction reasons as well as skills); definitely pass down Draconic Hex. Other options include Rinkah or Oboro to pass down Seal Resistance or Seal Speed, respectively. Of course, if you want to further make Sophie powerful when she’s initiating an attack, you could instead pass down Death Blow (Crit +20 when initiating attacks) from Rinkah’s Oni Chieftain class, or marry Setsuna to get skills like Quick Draw (damage +4 when initiating) or Certain Blow (Hit +40 when initiating). Marrying Hinoka gives you the opportunity to pass down the very powerful Warding Blow from her Falcon Knight class, which reduces magic damage by a whopping 20 when initiating an attack.
Now if Sealing stats is your ultimate goal with Sophie, it’s easier to see why that Armored Blow skill is so valuable – having 10 extra defense against attacks as long as she initiates will keep her from taking nearly as much punishment. Say you marry Oboro and get Seal Speed. After battle, you’ll drop the enemy’s defense by 3 and their speed by 6; this makes it much easier for someone to come in behind Sophie and clean up. This is a pretty good strategy for bosses, and because Sophie has a decent bit of durability to her (aided by Armored Blow), she’ll be able to safely move in and weaken the boss for the rest of your team.
If you decide not to use Seal abilities, then Hinoka’s Warding Blow is going to be really valuable. Armored Blow and Warding Blow together mean that any time Sophie initiates combat, she will take minimal damage. This allows her to safely weaken any enemy (and hey, you’ll still get the -3 defense bonus from her Mischievous skill as well) so that the rest of your team can move in and clean up. Now one thing to keep in mind is that Sophie can learn Armored Blow for herself by being a great knight rather than a paladin. If you take that route, you can have Silas pass down a skill from his secondary classes. Axebreaker ad Bowbreaker are both good options, increasing Sophie’s accuracy and avoid dramatically against one type of weapon. I think Bowbreaker is a good choice – if you’re being attacked by an archer, chances are you are not initiating and so won’t be benefiting from skills like Armored Blow. Being able to dodge those shots will be a huge boon.
Sophie is a fun character who is definitely viable in combat. Her Seal strategy probably isn’t going to be as effective as it is on someone like Oboro, Corrin, or Kana, but she can still weaken enemies quite well. Even without Seals, a good combination of defensive abilities will allow Sophie to safely chip off most of an opponent’s health so another character can finish the job.
Skill: Lucky Charm – Skills with an activation rate depending on Luck have their likelihood increased by 20%
Midori is the sweet and clever daughter of Kaze, one of the nicest characters in the whole game. Somebody’s gotta make up for Saizo. Anyway, in Midori’s paralogue some important herbs are stolen by the hefty thief Candace. Midori is automatically a blue player unit when you begin the paralogue, so congratulations – she’s yours when you finish.
Midori is a character that is easy to sleep on. Her starting class, apothecary, is unique to her (and enemies), but it has weird skills that probably don’t seem all that appealing. Okay, great, so her vulneraries heal 15 HP and you can use one and still take another action – I guess that’s helpful, but where’s the good stuff? The good stuff is all wrapped up in Midori’s personal skill, Lucky Charm. This increases the activation of Luck-based skills by 20% – combined with Midori’s high Luck stat, by the time you get her leveled up her luck-based skills are going to have a roughly 50% activation rate (assuming the skill uses your full luck stat). So what skills take advantage of this?
The luck-based skills available are Dragon Ward, Salvage Blow, Future Sight, Miracle, and Good Fortune. There’s also Profiteer, but we’re going to talk about that one separately. Dragon Ward can only come from having the Avatar as Midori’s mother, but it allows her to reduce the damage taken by an adjacent ally by 50%. Now this skill only has a 1/2 Luck chance of activating, so if we assume that Midori has 30 luck, that means you’ll be looking at a 35% activation rate instead of 50% like the rest of these skills. Still, that’s a pretty good chance to halve the damage against allies. Salvage Blow causes you to receive a Hoshidan weapon at random when you defeat an enemy. Future Sight doubles your EXP when you defeat the enemy after initiating combat. Miracle protects you from a blow that would otherwise kill you, leaving you with 1 HP. And Good Fortune restores 20% of your max HP at the beginning of the turn. All of these skills are attainable through one of Midori’s mothers, and which one you choose is really up to you. None are particularly game-breaking but all have their uses.
Now Midori is naturally able to promote to the Merchant class, which gets the aforementioned Profiteer skill at level 5. What does Profiteer do? At the beginning of each turn for the first seven turns, you have a chance to scoop up a Gold Bar. You know, the things that Lilith is always handing out in exchange for food. Now this may not sound particularly incredible – after all, it’s only for seven turns, and if you multiply 7 by the value of a gold bar that’s only at most 2100 gold per map. Trust me, adventurers, you do not want to sell these gold bars.
At level 15 the merchant gets the Spendthrift skill. Whenever the unit attacks with a gold bar in his/her inventory, the gold bar is spent to increase damage output by 10 and reduce damage taken by 10. Whoa! +10 damage to your attacks and -10 damage from the enemy? That’s a huge increase that is always going to be significant, and all you need to make it happen is one of the hundred million gold bars you’re going to have lying around thanks to Midori’s high rate of Profiteer success.
This is a pretty powerful technique, and amongst all your units Midori is the one who can best take advantage of it. Now without this combo, Midori can be somewhat…unimpressive. As you saw with the luck-based skill list, her personal skill really doesn’t help her with anything that is particularly significant. Midori is kind of gimmicky and while her gimmicks can certainly be helpful, she’s not exactly the unit you’re going to be looking to as your strongest member. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use her, as she does still have some tricks up her sleeve – make her a mechanist for awhile to grab up the Replicate skill and have two Midoris on the battlefield, tearing through enemy ranks with gold-empowered arrows.
Midori is a sweet character who is charming to have supports with and fun to watch on the battlefield. Her abilities are primarily gimmicks more so than reliable, effective methods of combat, but they can make her pretty powerful in the right circumstances. Definitely don’t skip her over just because she doesn’t seem great at first glance – Midori has stuff to offer if you’re willing to invest the time to make her great.
Wow, that was only five kids and how long have we been here? Too long, adventurers. I’m going to be breaking up this discussing into parts, so expect part two to come up probably later this week. In that part, we will discuss the different types of class-changing seals and how to best utilize them before examining the kids available in Birthright.