Fire Emblem Fates Character Guide: Birthright

Well adventurers, it took me an OBSCENELY long time to get around to it, but I finally churned out the next guide in our Fire Emblem Fates series. We’ve got children guides for BirthrightConquest, and the kids in all versions. And we also have a character guide for parents in all versions and the parents of Nohr. Today, we’re gonna talk about the adult characters from Hoshido, characters exclusive to the Birthright and Revelation paths.

As always, for detailed mechanical info like growth rates I referred to other sources, primarily Serenes Forest. THAT INFORMATION IS NOT MINE IN ANY WAY. Credit goes to the people who painstakingly figured that stuff out and posted it for fans like me to utilize when playing. I just gathered it all into one convenient location. Now the opinions, on the other hand, those are mine. I base my opinions of characters based on my personal experiences in play, and adjust slightly for how the character should theoretically perform based on mechanical factors.

Here’s how it works. You’ll see the character’s name, followed by a list of information including starting class, recruitment info, growth rates, maximum stat adjustments, and their personal skill. After that things will move into paragraph form, where I’ll discuss the character in more detail and offer my advice for using them. If you’re searching for a specific character, hit CTRL + F on your keyboard and type their name into the search box that appears.

CHARACTER GUIDE
Ryoma.jpg
RYOMA
Class: Swordmaster
Recruitment: End of Chapter 13 (Birthright), Start of Chapter 16 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 50 Str: 45 Mag: 0 Skl: 50 Spd: 45 Lck: 40 Def: 35 Res: 25
Max Stats – Skl+2; Str, Spd, and Lck +1; Def and Res -2
Personal Skill: Bushido – When this unit is the lead unit and the support unit is lower-leveled, Crit +10, damage given +2, and damage taken -2
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Ryoma is the crown prince of Hoshido and a skilled swordmaster. He’s pretty serious and also has a seriously overinflated ego when it comes to his personal appearance. Oh wait, that last part might have been just my opinion. Anyway, he joins you once you beat chapter 13 or start chapter 16, depending on what game you’re playing.
Bushido is a pretty solid personal skill that makes Ryoma more effective in combat when his supporter is lower leveled than him. Considering that Ryoma always joins your party as a promoted unit, it’s pretty easy to have him at a higher level than the character he is supported by. The extra points of critical hit chance combine great with Ryoma’s swordmaster class, making him a crit machine. And the reduced damage from enemy attacks is definitely needed.
Ryoma’s other base class is the Sky Knight. Since Ryoma starts out promoted, this means you have the choice between switching between the Swordmaster, Master-of-Arms, Falcon Knight, and Kinshi Knight. You can get some pretty decent skills by switching around a bit. Seal Strength can be useful but may not activate that often – Ryoma tends to finish any battles he starts. Becoming a Falcon Knight or a Kinshi Knight will allow you to pick up Darting Blow from the Sky Knight class, increases Ryoma’s already-impressive speed when you initiate combat and giving him a better chance of following-up against fellow swordmasters. Warding Blow is fantastic, protecting Ryoma from magical damage when initiating combat.
Once you’re done collecting skills from other classes, Ryoma functions best as a swordmaster. Access to S-level swords, great hidden bonuses to Avoid and Crit, plus his legendary weapon compliments the class. Ryoma joins the party strong and has an excellent skill that makes him even more viable. He’s not the fastest swordmaster at your disposal, but his access to Darting Blow helps with that and his high Skill makes him great for crits and for activating the very powerful Astra skill. Ryoma is a great unit, so definitely consider using him.
Takumi.jpg
TAKUMI
Class: Archer
Recruitment: End of Chapter 10 in either game, or talk to him with Azura (Birthright)
Growths – HP: 50 Str: 35 Mag: 0 Skl: 60 Spd: 40 Lck: 45 Def: 35 Res: 20
Max Stats – Skl +3; Str and Lck +1; Spd and Res -2
Personal Skill: Competitive – When unit is the lead unit and the support unit is a higher level, Crit +10, damage given +3, and damage taken -1
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Listen – I’m sure that some of you out there really love Takumi. And that’s okay. I don’t judge you for that. But this guy freaking drives me crazy. He’s the younger of the two Hoshidan princes and he’s something of a hothead. He joins you in chapter 10, at which point he can vocalize his distrust for you even more often than before. Hurray.
Competitive is a pretty decent skill, giving Takumi a lot more offensive power. He has to be paired with someone who is higher leveled, which can be a bit tricky if you keep most of your units around the same level. However, the Avatar is pretty easy to keep one or two levels higher than everyone else, so (s)he can be a good partner to keep this skill working – plus his/her Supportive skill would also be active, increasing Takumi’s bonuses even further. Ryoma is also a good choice, since his Bushido skill works with a lower-leveled unit. Whichever one is in the lead will benefit from the other.
Takumi’s second base class is the Spear Fighter, another incredible class to have. Like the archer, the spear fighter can promote to a class that has access to an S-rank weapon and to hidden class bonuses. He has access to three different Seal skills: Seal Defense, Seal Strength, and Seal Speed. Because Takumi is a bit on the slow side, he could actually benefit from having these seal skills, allowing him to safely lower an enemy’s stats from a distance so an ally can jump in and finish things. The Master-at-Arms also gives him access to Life and Death, which increases his damage given AND taken by 10. While I’m normally not a fan of this skill, it is most viable on an archer, where the chances of getting attacked back are generally reduced and the extra damage increases Takumi’s chances of actually finishing an enemy off first try. Other skill options include Air Superiority and Amaterasu from the Kinshi Knight line, but I don’t particularly recommend pursuing that avenue for Takumi.
Takumi is best chosen as a sniper – he has a legendary yumi unique to him and that S-rank in bows helps him to use it to the best of his ability. On top of that, the hidden bonuses to accuracy and critical hit from the sniper class complement his ranged strategy. You want as many of his damage-increasing skills on him as possible – Takumi’s low-ish speed means that he’ll be relying on raw power over landing two hits. As I mentioned above, the Seal strategy is also viable for him, using his bow to weaken an opponent’s stats over a distance and then moving in someone else to strike the finishing blow. Takumi is a decent unit and although I prefer other bow-wielders over him, he’s a solid character and I’ve carried him to the endgame in multiple runs of the game.
hinoka
HINOKA
Class: Sky Knight
Recruitment: Talk with Avatar or end of Chapter 8 (Birthright), or start of 16 (Relevation)
Growths – HP: 45 Str: 45 Mag: 15 Skl: 40 Spd: 45 Lck: 40 Def: 35 Res: 40
Max Stats – Res+2; Str and Spd +1; Mag, Skl, and Def -1
Personal Skill: Rallying Cry – Allies within two spaces deal +2 damage
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Hinoka is the older of the two Hoshidan princesses. She’s got a fierce spirit and she loves her lost brother or sister more than anything. Because, you know, this game perpetuates some seriously weird older sister stuff that the developers really should talk to a therapist about. She’s pretty cool though, and once you finish Chapter 8 in Birthright or start Chapter 16 in Revelation then you’ll have her to utilize in your army.
Hinoka has a delightfully simple personal skill: all allies close to her can hit the enemy harder. No more, no less. Is one of your units just shy of finishing the bad guy off? Fly in Hinoka. Against tough enemies, you can have her fly to a position close to the bad guy and then bring in your newly-empowered units to tear away at the boss. Sometimes simple is best, and Hinoka’s skill is one of the easiest to effectively take advantage of.
Like Takumi, Hinoka’s second base class is the Spear Fighter. Now this is a bit more useful to Hinoka because unlike Takumi, every advanced class Hinoka can end up as has a spear as their weapon. So this means that once you get the Lancefaire skill from the Spear Master class, Hinoka is going to be able to utilize that +5 damage in every class she can become. Nice! This also means that, like Takumi, she ends up with Seal Defense, Seal Speed, and Seal Strength (as long as you train her as a Spear Fighter, Spear Master, and Master-at-Arms). Amaterasu from the Kinshi Knight works a bit better with Hinoka’s strategy – since her personal skill encourages you to keep allies within two spaces of her, they’ll benefit from the healing from Amaterasu as well.
Now with most characters, I’ll recommend finishing them off as some variation of their starting class. With Hinoka, you CAN take that path, and she’ll be alright at what she does. If you decide to keep her airborne, definitely go with Falcon Knight over Kinshi Knight. Load her up with Seal skills and toss Amaterasu and Rally Speed on there (replace one of the Seals with Lancefaire if desired) and use her to boost your other allies before battles. Take advantage of her staff proficiency to provide some extra healing when needed. However, if you want Hinoka to be a more offensive presence, I actually recommend Spear Master for her. While she won’t be as physically bulky as a typical Spear Master, she’s quick and strong and she’ll be able to dish out a lot of damage to foes. Spear Master is a better class combat-wise than the Falcon Knight, with access to S-level lances and hidden stat bonuses to critical hit and critical dodge. Hinoka can function as a support character or a front-line fighter, but you’re gonna have to choose which one and choose her final class and skills accordingly.
sakura
SAKURA
Class: Shrine Maiden
Recruitment: Automatically in Chapter 6 (Birthright) or 8 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 45 Str: 30 Mag: 50 Skl: 40 Spd: 40 Lck: 55 Def: 30 Res: 20
Max Stats: Mag +2; Spd +1; Skl and Def -1
Personal Skill: Quiet Strength – Allies within two spaces take -2 damage
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Sakura is your shy, peace-loving Hoshidan sister. She’s got a good heart and loyal friends, and regardless of which version you play she’s going to be a part of your team from very early on. And that’s a good thing, because Sakura brings a lot to the table.
Her personal skill Quiet Strength casts a defensive aura over the spaces near her, helping to deflect some damage from her allies. This is a pretty helpful effect, even more so for slow allies who will have 2 damage subtracted from both attacks that hit them when being outsped by the enemy. Like Hinoka’s ability, Sakura’s is pretty straightforward but is incredibly easy to take advantage of as a result.
Sakura’s second base class is the Sky Knight (GASP), which interestingly makes it so that every member of the Hoshidan royal family can potentially be a Kinshi Knight. Since, you know, that’s such an incredible class. Anyway, Sakura’s access to the Sky Knight line gives her a lot of complimentary skills. Camaraderie pairs well with Quiet Strength and Renewal, Amaterasu pairs well with Quiet Strength, and Rally Speed pairs well with Rally Luck and Rally Magic.
What skills and class you choose for Sakura depend a lot on what you want to use her for. She’s decent as a support character, with both auras and Rally skills at her disposal. Combining Amaterasu and Quiet Strength gives allies protection and healing, and using all three Rally skills allows Sakura to increase the Magic, Luck, and Speed of all allies in the range of her protective auras. There are better combinations, though – I prefer to give Sakura defensive abilities, increasing her survivability so she can heal allies close to the front. Renewal and Camaraderie together heal Sakura by 40% every turn as long as there are allies within two spaces – and you want there to be so those allies can benefit from Quiet Strength and Amaterasu. Add on Miracle for some protection in case things go south and Countermagic to punish enemy mages that manage to get a hold of Sakura, and you’ve got a tough healer able to hold her own if an enemy breaks through your defenses. When it comes to her class, it depends on whether you want to use Sakura offensively or strictly as a healer – for the former, Onmyoji is better. For the latter, definitely go Priestess. I personally recommend Priestess, because you’ll have better magical attackers on your team, but probably not a better healer.
saizo
SAIZO
Class: Ninja
Recruitment: End of Chapter 7 (Birthright) or 11, or talk to him in Chapter 11 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 40 Str: 50 Mag: 45 Skl: 60 Spd: 30 Lck: 55 Def: 45 Res: 10
Max Stats: +3 Skl; +1 Str and Def; -2 Spd and Res
Personal Skill: Pyrotechnics – When this unit triggers a battle with HP below 50%, this unit and all enemies within 2 spaces lose 20% HP after battle
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Saizo is the twin brother of Kaze, and whereas Kaze is the friendly, kind brother, Saizo is the, uh…well, the one I really don’t like. I love a good mysterious, blunt assassin as much as the next guy, but Saizo’s blind devotion and humorless nature really doesn’t do it for me. But hey, that’s not what matters on the battlefield, right? Saizo joins you at the end of Chapter 7 in Birthright, and the end of Chapter 11 in Revelation – unless you manage to talk to him first.
Saizo’s personal skill Pyrotechnics makes him something of a suicide bomber. Whenever he begins battle with an enemy and his HP is low, he deals chip damage to every enemy nearby and to himself. This is the kind of skill you really only want to use when you have a brilliant game plan, either sending in Saizo first to chip enemies down and then bringing in your big guns or having a staff wielder with Rescue handy to scoop Saizo way outta danger.
Saizo’s secondary base class is the samurai, which may sound familiar if you read the guide about the characters playable in both versions. Why does that sound familiar? Because Kaze has this exact same class set – starts as a ninja, with the potential to become a samurai. Ninja and samurai are a powerful pair, giving such mighty skills as Astra, Swordfaire, Lethality, and Shurikenfaire. And you can always scoop up Replicate to put two of Saizo on the battlefield.
Whereas with Kaze I recommend having him train as a Swordmaster and then finish up as a Master Ninja, I’d say that once you pick up Lethality you can just change Saizo to a Swordmaster for good. He’s a lot slower than Kaze but has a bit better Strength and Defense, so making him the class that can take advantage of the higher growths in those categories would be ideal.
kagero
KAGERO
Class: Ninja
Recruitment: End of Chapter 10 (Birthright) or Chapter 11 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 30 Str: 65 Mag: 0 Skl: 20 Spd: 50 Lck: 30 Def: 25 Res: 40
Max Stats: Str +3; Res +1; Def, Skl, and Spd -1
Personal Skill: Shuriken Mastery – When this unit takes damage from a shuriken, the attacker takes half of that damage and suffers the stat reductions
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The damsel in distress of Fire Emblem Fates, Kagero somehow ends up getting kidnapped in every version of this game. She’s the second retainer to Ryoma (Saizo being the first), and apparently a painter. You get her at the end of Chapter 10 or 11 once you rescue her, depending on what version you are playing.
Kagero’s Shuriken Mastery skill functions similarly to something like Counter or Countermagic. Whenever she takes damage from an opponent with a “hidden weapon” (a dagger or a shuriken), the attacker takes half of that damage and suffers the stat penalties caused by the weapon. This is a pretty helpful effect when fighting enemy ninjas, a type of opponent that’s always good to have an advantage against. Problem is, Kagero is very fragile, so you won’t want to put her in harm’s way just to capitalize on this ability. Rather, just enjoy its benefits when it happens to happen.
Kagero’s second base class is the Diviner, which was in my mind an odd choice. Notice that 0% growth rate in magic up there? Yeah, she’s not doing any damage as a Diviner. It certainly doesn’t help that the Diviner and its promotions also have very few skills that would be of any benefit to Kagero. I seriously do not recommend wasting any energy on Kagero’s secondary class. If you really want her to scoop up some more skills, utilize a Partner Seal or a Friendship Seal to borrow a more beneficial class from an ally.
Because Kagero’s Diviner class has so little to offer her, training her is gonna be pretty straightforward – get the skills from the Mechanist if you want them, but settle on Master Ninja. The latter has better stat caps, better skills, an S-level in shurikens, and hidden stat bonuses. It’s really no contest. Kagero is the strongest of the three Hoshidan ninja, and has pretty decent speed, but she is also the most fragile of the bunch. Plan to keep her off of the front lines or plan to rescue her a lot more than you already have to.
oboro
OBORO
Class: Spear Fighter
Recruitment: End of Chapter 10 (Revelation) or 9, or talk to her in Chapter 9 (Birthright)
Growths – HP: 30 Str: 40 Mag: 20 Skl: 40 Spd: 40 Lck: 40 Def: 40 Res: 30
Max Stats: Str, Skl, Spd, and Def +1; Mag, Lck, and Res -1
Personal Skill: Nohr Enmity – This unit deals +3 damage to Nohrian opponents
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Oboro is a retainer to Takumi, and she thinks he’s too cool for school. Why anybody would think Takumi is cool is anyone’s guess, though. There I go having opinions again. Anyway, Oboro REALLY hates Nohr and is ready to smash their faces in. Once you recruit her in Chapter 9 or 10 (depending on the game), she’ll be ready to smash the faces of anybody you want.
Nohr Enmity is one of those straightforward personal skills that I just love to love. If the bad guy is from Nohr, BAM, +3 damage. Simple, but very effective. Oboro is a pretty balanced unit, which is a good thing, but it also means that she can definitely take advantage of the damage boost offered by this skill. Be aware, though, that because in Revelation you aren’t necessarily going to be against the forces of Nohr as often, you won’t be able to capitalize on this skill as often either.
Oboro starts as a Spear Fighter but her secondary class is the Apothecary. This is a rather weird class that becomes either a Merchant or a Mechanist. Now the Merchant promoted class is very gimmicky and doesn’t offer skills that you’ll necessarily want Oboro to use. When they work, they’re awesome, but there’s one specific character that is perfect for the Merchant and everyone else is better off staying away (I talk about her in the “kids in all versions” guide). The Replicate skill from the Mechanist could be pretty cool, though training as a Mechanist long enough to get it will be a serious pain. The Potent Potion and Quick Salve skills from the Apothecary are kind of interesting: increasing Oboro’s benefit from healing potions, and allowing her to use a potion and then follow up with an attack. If you want something that compliments her Seal skills, scoop up Seal Strength from the Master-at-Arms.
Oboro should absolutely no-questions-asked be a Spear Master. The class has balanced growths and stats that compliment Oboro’s natural balance, wields S-level naginatas, and has hidden stat boosts to crit and dodge. It might seem like the Master-at-Arms would be a better choice for a balanced character, but you’ll get a lot more benefit out of an S-level spear than you will being able to choose any B-level weapon from the triangle. Go with Spear Master.
hinata
HINATA
Class: Samurai
Recruitment: End of Chapter 10 (Revelation) or 9, or talk to him in Chapter 9 (Birthright)
Growths – HP: 55 Str: 35 Mag: 0 Skl: 25 Spd: 15 Lck: 45 Def: 45 Res: 15
Max Stats: Def +2; Str +1; Skl -1; Spd -2
Personal Skill: Triple Threat – When this unit has less than 50% HP and an enemy deals damage to this unit with a sword, lance, or axe, the enemy sustains half of that damage
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Hinata is the second retainer to Takumi and a swordsman. He wants to be just like Takumi. No comment. Once you meet Hinata in Chapter 9 or 10, he’ll join your party.
Hinata’s Triple Threat skill functions as a counterattack skill, allowing him to deal half the damage he takes to enemies that attack him with one of the Big Three: a sword, a lance, or an axe. Sounds great, right? Thing is, Hinata needs to be under half health for it to work, which means you’re playing risky if you’re baiting enemies towards him. Like Kagero’s Shuriken Mastery, you probably don’t want to actively try to use this skill. Just enjoy it when it does come up.
Hinata’s other class is the Oni Savage, a club wielding class able to become an Oni Chieftain or a Blacksmith. These promoted classes offer some pretty good skills. Death Blow increases critical hit rate by 20 when initiating attacks, Counter returns all the damage from any adjacent attack to the enemy, and Lancebreaker gives +50 to hit and avoid against an opponent with a spear. Combine these with skills from the samurai line such as Vantage and Astra, and Hinata has a great skillset to utilize.
That being said, Hinata has garbage growth rates, and his stats do not gel with his samurai base class at all. Because he’s designed to be more of a tank, I’d actually recommend changing him to and using him as an Oni Savage. His high health and defense will allow him to draw enemy blows towards you, at which point he can maybe activate his Triple Threat skill (until you learn the far superior Counter skill). Hinata is not a bad character, but with low growths you’ll definitely have to change him to the class that really takes advantage of the ones he does have.
setsuna
SETSUNA
Class: Archer
Recruitment: Chapter 16 (Revelation) or alongside Hinoka in Chapter 8 (Birthright)
Growths – HP: 30 Str: 20 Mag: 0 Skl: 30 Spd: 60 Lck: 30 Def: 15 Res: 40
Max Stats: Spd +3; Skl +1; Lck, Def, and Res -1
Personal Skill: Optimist – This unit recovers 50% more when healed with a staff
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Not to be confused with the Square Enix game inspired by the gameplay of Chrono Trigger, Setsuna is an archer and retainer to Hinoka. Despite serving an incredibly competent master, Setsuna is super awkward and clumsy. She joins with Hinoka in both versions.
Setsuna has an interesting personal skill that is definitely helpful, just situationally so. Whenever she is healed by a staff, she heals extra HP. This means that she’s more likely to get fully healed by your ally healers. It’s a pretty nice effect and it makes it a little easier to keep the very frail Setsuna at full health.
Setsuna’s second base class is the ninja class, certainly an interesting alternative to her archer class. Training as a ninja allows her to open locks and deal chip damage after combat, and can eventually give her the deadly Lethality skill and the unique Replicate skill. These ninja skills pair well with Setsuna, and I definitely recommend at the very least scooping up Locktouch and Poison Strike to compliment her other abilities.
Whereas Takumi is all muscle with lower speed, Setsuna is incredibly fast but quite frail with lower stopping power. She’ll be able to double attack but getting her damage up where it needs to be may sometimes be a struggle. This is why ninja training helps her so much – combining her attacks with chip damage will really wear down enemies so that someone else can come in for the finishing blow. When using Setsuna, killing enemies will not be your aim – you’ll be shooting to soften them up.
azama
AZAMA
Class: Monk
Recruitment: Chapter 16 (Revelation) or alongside Hinoka in Chapter 8 (Birthright)
Growths – HP: 55 Str: 50 Mag: 20 Skl: 40 Spd: 45 Lck: 40 Def: 40 Res: 20
Max Stats: Str +2; Spd and Def +1; Mag -3
Personal Skill: Divine Retribution – When this unit has no weapon equipped and an adjacent enemy deals damage, the enemy suffers half that damage
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Azama is a monk and the second retainer to Hinoka. He’s an odd fellow whose religious beliefs make him a subject of scrutiny among others. Like Setsuna, you get Azama any time you get Hinoka.
Divine Retribution is a solid skill, although it is one that honestly seems more potent when Azama is your enemy rather than when he’s your ally. When Azama has no weapon equipped, any direct attack against him will deal half damage to the attacker, punishing them for daring to strike a holy man. This is a nice way to get back at the enemy when they break through your front line and reach Azama, but you definitely don’t want to be putting him in the line of fire just to use this skill.
Azama starts as a monk but has the Apothecary as his second base class. I’m not a huge fan of the apothecary because of the gimmicky nature of its skills and the skills of its promoted classes, but as you’ll see from Azama’s growth rates making him a healer doesn’t make much sense either. His stats are much more given to some kind of physical combatant. This is mildly attainable when he reaches the Great Master class, but his weapon level will start out too low to deal much damage. This is another character where I would seriously recommend breaking out the Partner or Friendship seals to open up your options a little more.
Azama is a character who hasn’t quite found his calling yet. With good growths in HP, Strength, Speed, and Defense, but poor magical growths and a negative adjustment to his maximum magic stat, Azama has little to offer when remaining a monk. But if you change him into something more aggressive, you lose the benefits of his personal skill. I recommend using him as a different class entirely if you’re really attached to having him around.
hana
HANA
Class: Samurai
Recruitment: Start of Chapter 7 (Birthright) or End of Chapter 8 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 25 Str: 55 Mag: 10 Skl: 45 Spd: 55 Lck: 45 Def: 20 Res: 30
Max Stats: Spd +2; Str, Skl, and Res +1; Lck -1; Def -3
Personal Skill: Fearsome Blow – When this unit initiates battle and defeats the enemy, adjacent enemies take 20% HP damage
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One of two retainers to Sakura, Hana is a samurai warrior from a proud line of samurai warriors. She joins you pretty early in both Birthright and in Revelation, just like Sakura herself.
Fearsome Blow is an ability that sounds good on paper but has rarely worked well for me. This personal skill deals damage to adjacent enemies whenever Hana defeats somebody, but in most situations Hana just isn’t next to any bad guys when she defeats another bad guy. When you do manage to get this skill off, the chip damage is alright but not gamebreaking. I much prefer more reliable chip skills for weakening enemy units.
In addition to her samurai class, she can also become a shrine maiden like her master Sakura. The Miracle skill can be good on the very fragile Hana, but really useful is the Renewal skill from the Priestess class. Definitely want to pick that one up. Countermagic can be decent and gives Hana a way to damage magical attackers (other than equipping a very poor quality sword).
Hana’s stats are suited to the swordmaster class and it is best to train her as such. Give her Astra, Swordfaire, and Vantage, and watch her take lives. Throw on Renewal if you can to help keep her fragile body healthy. I don’t have much to say about Hana, but that’s because she’s a classic swordmaster – and that’s a class you can always take to the bank.
subaki
SUBAKI
Class: Sky Knight
Recruitment: Start of Chapter 7 (Birthright) or end of Chapter 8 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 55 Str: 30 Mag: 20 Skl: 50 Spd: 20 Lck: 25 Def: 45 Res: 5
Max Stats: Def +3; Skl +2; Str, Lck, and Res -1; Spd -2
Personal Skill: Perfectionist – Hit and Avoid +15 when HP is full
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Introducing Mr.Perfect himself, Subaki! This guy’s drive to be perfect in any way should seem pretty familiar to players of Fire Emblem Awakening – a pegasus knight who has to be perfect at everything. Hmm…anyway, this fellow joins pretty early in both versions of the game.
Subaki’s personal skill Perfectionist is pretty solid. Abilities that activate at full HP are highly preferable in my mind to those that activate at 50% – although it is frustrating that you can lose the benefits of Perfectionist just by getting an HP increase when you level up. Hit and Avoid are good stats to increase, particularly the latter since Mr. Perfect has a garbage growth rate and maximum stat potential in the Speed category.
Subaki starts as a Sky Knight and has the second base class of Samurai, making him similar to but opposite of Ryoma. His growths honestly don’t make sense for either class, with his natural affinity better suited to soaking damage rather than fighting to kill. Still, these two base classes together give him a pretty solid skill selection. Darting Blow gives him a very necessary boost to Speed, and Astra takes advantage of his high Skill to give him a lot more attacks. Vantage gives him a chance to take out the enemy before he goes down, and Warding Blow cushions his poor Resistance when initiating attacks against mages.
Subaki’s focus on stats like HP, Skill, and Defense make him better-suited for taking hits than for dealing them out. This is certainly an odd choice considering his class sets, but I guess the team at Intelligent Systems has to keep us on our toes. If you want to change up Subaki’s class, get him a friend or a wife and use a Seal in order to get him into a more defensive job – Oni Savage would be great for him. There’s nothing stopping you from using him as a Sky Knight, of course – just be prepared when he’s not going to be outpacing that many enemies.
rinkah
RINKAH
Class: Oni Savage
Recruitment: Automatically in Chapter 6 (Birthright) or 9 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 20 Str: 25 Mag: 15 Skl: 50 Spd: 45 Lck: 35 Def: 45 Res: 20
Max Stats: Def +2; Spd +1; Str -1; Skl -2
Personal Skill: Fiery Blood – Damage +4 when user has less than full HP
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What’s the biggest “pack” you can have when it comes to abs? Rinkah is a buff young lady from the fire tribe, a loner with an ironically cold exterior. She’s a fierce ally of Hoshido and joins early in both Birthright and Revelation.
Fiery Blood is an absolutely amazing personal skill, perhaps one of my favorites in the entire game. Unfortunately, in my mind, it is wasted on Rinkah. Her low strength growths mean that she pretty much has to have this skill activated to do even okay damage, and because she’s an Oni Savage and therefore doesn’t capitalize on her good speed growths, she doesn’t double attack often enough to maximize the damage output this skill allows for. Still, this skill is absolutely Rinkah’s saving grace and you always want to make sure her health is not at maximum.
Rinkah is an Oni Savage to start but can also become a Ninja. You get some pretty good skills from this combination of classes – Locktouch and Poison Strike from the ninja, then stronger skills like Counter, Lancebreaker, and Death Blow from the Oni Savage’s promotions. Early on, you’ll be looking at a role that weirdly combines tanking and chip-damage, with the potential for some crit-kills at higher levels.
I am not a big fan of Rinkah. I keep trying to get her to function well and I just cannot find a good role for her. She’s not strong enough to take out bad guys and should NOT be used the same way you’d use a fighter or barbarian. She’s supposed to have high defense but can’t tank damage because of her poor HP. You can use her to chip enemies down, and if you do so you’ll want to make her a ninja. But ultimately, she doesn’t fill this role nearly as well as other characters better designed for it.
Orochi.jpg
OROCHI
Class: Diviner
Recruitment: End of Chapter 7 (Birthright) or with Saizo in Chapter 11 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 35 Str: 5 Mag: 65 Skl: 50 Spd: 15 Lck: 35 Def: 25 Res: 45
Max Stats: Mag +3; Skl +2; Res +1; Spd and Def -2; Lck -1
Personal Skill: Capture – Use this command when defeating an enemy to imprison them
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Orochi…exists, I guess. Yeesh, there I go having opinions again. Orochi once served directly under Queen Mikoto as her diviner. She’s one of only two characters who naturally have the Diviner class – luckily she joins you pretty early in Birthright and only a few chapters later in Revelation.
Unfortunately, Orochi’s personal skill slot is effectively wasted thanks to the presence of the Capture command. Each of Fates’s two main paths feature one character who is able to capture enemy units so you can later recruit them from your prison at MyCastle. Orochi is that character for Birthright, and if – like me – you NEVER utilize that function of MyCastle, Orochi basically runs around with no skill to speak of.
Orochi begins play as a Diviner and has the Apothecary as her secondary class. Honestly, this is not ideal for her – the Apothecary branches off into either the Merchant or the Mechanist. Neither of these classes utilize Orochi’s incredible Magic stat and honestly don’t have fantastic skills to offer – the best one is Replicate at level 15 of the Mechanist. But if you really want some good skills for Orochi, you’ll likely need to use a Partner or Friendship Seal to transform into maybe a Shrine Maiden or Dark Mage.
Orochi has really great Magic growths and her maximum Magic is quite high, but her lack of Speed and lack of truly good skills can make her a difficult unit to train up and utilize well. If you really want to utilize her, scoop up Quick Salve/Potent Potion from the Apothecary and utilize that combo to keep her healthy while flinging powerful one-hit spells against enemies. Once she classes up, scoop up Rend Heaven from the Basara and then switch back to Onmyoji to grab Tomefaire. Orochi hits HARD but her lack of speed makes it difficult for her to grab kills, and without any access to Seal skills she isn’t able to weaken enemies in as significant of a way as, say, a Ninja.
Hayato.jpg
HAYATO
Class: Diviner
Recruitment: End of Chapter 8 (Birthright) or Chapter 9 (Revelation)
Growths – HP: 50 Str: 30 Mag: 40 Skl: 30 Spd: 45 Lck: 60 Def: 40 Res: 20
Max Stats: Spd +2; Mag and Lck +1; Skl, Def, and Res -1
Personal Skill: Pride – When this unit’s level is lower than the enemy’s, damage +3
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D’awww, he’s so SMOL! But don’t rub it in, because this angry, tiny magician is very prideful and determined to prove that he’s a grown man. A tiny little man. Hayato is recruited pretty early on in both Birthright and Revelation, joining during Chapter 8 in the former and 9 in the latter.
Hayato has a great personal skill. It’s simple but effective, increasing his damage as long as his opponent is a higher level. While this may not always activate against random foes, most bosses are going to be quite a bit higher leveled than Hayato so you pretty much always have one guaranteed use of this ability per map. The skill covers a weakness of Hayato’s, which is a relatively unimpressive Magic growth, increasing his damage to make him more viable in combat. So it’s definitely a great skill.
Hayato starts as a Diviner but has Oni Savage as his secondary class. Now while Oni Savage is not a great class for Hayato as far as stat growths, it is awesome for skills, opening the way to very useful skills such as Counter, Death Blow, and Lancebreaker. Lances are advantageous against magic, so Lancebreaker offers some great protection for Hayato when facing strong units like Generals or Paladins. You definitely want to settle on the Onmyoji class, though, if only for the very incredible Tomefaire ability to increase Hayato’s hitting power.
Hayato is not likely to have as much raw power as Orochi, but he makes up for that with the speed to double-attack and access to great skills. Hayato is, in my mind, the better of the two magicians that Birthright has to offer, and since he joins you early on he’s a great character to keep around for the full length of the game.
kaden
KADEN
Class: Kitsune
Recruitment: Chapter 12 (Birthright) or Chapter 13 (Revelation)
Growth Rates – HP: 45 Str: 40 Mag: 10 Skl: 25 Spd: 45 Lck: 50 Def: 35 Res: 40
Max Stats: Spd and Res +2; Str and Lck +1; Def -2; Skl -3
Personal Skill: Reciprocity – When this unit is healed with a staff by another unit, that unit is healed by the same amount
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Kaden is the well-meaning, kindhearted leader of the kitsune tribe. He’s got such a good heart that he tends to disappear from his home for obscene amounts of time because he always repays his favors – and EVERYTHING is a favor to this guy. You get Kaden after Chapter 12 or 13 depending on the version, so he’s always gonna be tagging along with you around midway through your journey.
Kaden has one of those “okay, that’s cool I guess” personal skills. Reciprocity would be a truly awesome skill if it was on a staff-wielder, healing them whenever they use their staff on someone else. Instead, it’s on Kaden, so when a staff-wielder heals him, they get healed. It’s certainly not a bad skill, it’s just not the kind of skill that you are likely going to incorporate into your battle strategy. If it comes into play, great. If not, well, that’s not particularly surprising.
Kaden begins play as a kitsune, a special class along the lines of the “taguel” or “manakete” from Fire Emblem Awakening. Kaden uses a stone to transform into a powerful beast form. This is the kind of class you don’t necessarily want to change, but Kaden’s secondary class is the Diviner, so you do have another option. As it were, Diviner is a really odd choice for him. His attacks as a kitsune are not based on Magic and his Magic growth rates are not high. In addition, most skills that come from leveling up as a Diviner – skills like Rally Magic or Tomefaire – aren’t really worth anything to Kaden as a kitsune. It doesn’t help that Kaden’s worst stat is Skill, which you need in order to activate offensive skills like Rend Heaven. As such, you should probably stick with Kaden’s original class.
Kaden is a really solid character. His high speed, combined with his solid resistance and strength, make him a great unit for defeating pesky enemy magicians. He does decently well against other fragile units as well, but since his defense isn’t stellar you’ll want to be careful when facing such enemies. I really enjoy having Kaden around and I utilized him in both Birthright and Revelation.
Reina.jpg
REINA
Class: Kinshi Knight
Recruitment: Chapter 11 – Talk or End of Chapter (Birthright); joins with Saizo (Revelation)
Growth Rates – HP: 40 Str: 45 Mag: 5 Skl: 20 Spd: 45 Lck: 10 Def: 20 Res: 10
Max Stats: Str and Spd +2; Lck and Res -1; Def -2
Personal Skill: Morbid Celebration – When this unit initiates combat and defeats the enemy, HP recovers by 20%
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“Do ya wanna know how I got these scars?” Reina is one of three different units on the Birthright path that is unable to support anyone besides the player character. These kind of units always get on my nerves, but hey, someone out there may want to use her, so here I am anyway. Reina is recruited in Chapter 11 no matter what – you can talk to her in Birthright, or she joins you automatically at the end of the chapter. In Revelation, if she’s alive when you recruit Saizo you’ll get Reina as well.
Reina actually has a relatively decent personal skill in Morbid Celebration. 20% HP recovery isn’t necessarily a lot, but it’s a good way to top back off after defeating an opponent so that you’ll be good to go when enemy combatants come your way. Reina may not have supports but she has a pretty solid personal skill.
Reina starts as a Kinshi Knight and can change to five other classes: Falcon Knight, Onmyoki, Basara, Master Ninja, and Mechanist. While some of these classes don’t have much to offer, others can be used to create some pretty good combos. Quixotic from the Basara greatly increases the activation rate of the Master Ninja’s Lethality, which is a pretty awesome skill to have in combination with Morbid Celebration. Warding Blow from the Falcon Knight is also a pretty solid skill, protecting Reina from the destructive power of enemy magicians – and you’ll need that protection with a 10% growth rate in Resistance.
Of the classes that Reina has access to, it’s hard to say which one to settle on. Master Ninja is objectively the best one here, capitalizing on the stats Reina has good growths in not to mention offering an S-level weapon and hidden stat bonuses. However, this is going to require you to train Reina’s shuriken level up all the way from the bottom, which is incredibly impractical. It might be better to grab the useful skills from other classes and then settle on Falcon Knight, which takes advantage of Reina’s weapon proficiency while also being more combat-proficient than the Kinshi Knight. Reina, and the other characters like her, fill in the role of a back-up, offering an already-trained second string alternative when you’ve lost a decent number of characters during your playthrough. If you need a character like that, Reina isn’t a bad choice at all.
Scarlet.jpg
SCARLET
Class: Wyvern Lord
Recruitment: End of Chapter 13 (Birthright) or automatically in 16 (Revelation)
Growth Rates – HP: 30 Str: 45 Mag: 20 Skl: 40 Spd: 50 Lck: 40 Def: 25 Res: 20
Max Stats: Str +2; Spd and Def +1; Lck -1; Res -2
Personal Skill: In Extremis – Crit +30 when HP is beneath 25%
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Scarlet is the second of three back-up units in this game, and the fact that she is a back-up unit really bothers me. She has story significance in every version of the game! And her potential as a support for Ryoma makes way more sense than some of his existing supports do. But whatever, ignore her, make her boring and uninteresting, it isn’t my game. Anyway, Scarlet joins in Chapter 13 or 16 depending on the version of the game.
In Extremis is a pretty solid personal skill – lots of gain for lots of risk. I personally do not recommend trying to keep Scarlet at such low HP just for the crit rate increase; counting on a critical hit is always asking for trouble. However, this skill can be a great way for Scarlet to save her own hide in a situation where she’s caught in battle at low HP.
Like Reina, Scarlet has five potential alternate classes to choose from: Malig Knight, Adventurer, Bow Knight, Great Knight, or General. This combination of classes actually gives her access to some really great skills. Luna for damage, Armored Blow for protection when she initiates combat, Pavise to potentially shrug off damage entirely, Trample to give a huge damage bonus against unmounted foes, and Swordbreaker for a huge advantage against sword-wielding opponents. Not only do these classes combo well for skills, but nearly any one of them could be a solid choice for Scarlet’s final class, based on the needs of your team.
When it comes to a back-up character for your team, Scarlet is a pretty solid choice. She has access to Nohrian classes in an otherwise Hoshido-filled party, and on top of that she has multiple classes that offer some serious defense on an otherwise fast-but-squishy team. If you enjoy Scarlet and you want to use her, she’s definitely not a waste of energy.
yukimura
YUKIMURA
Class: Mechanist
Recruitment: Appears in MyCastle after a battle if there’s a Puppet upgraded to Level 3
Growth Rates – HP: 25 Str: 25 Mag: 5 Skl: 40 Spd: 15 Lck: 30 Def: 25 Res: 30
Max Stats: Skl +3; Str, Spd, and Def -1
Personal Skill: Perspicacious – All allies get Hit Rate +5
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Yukimura was the tactical advisor to Queen Mikoto. Now he still serves that role for the Hoshidan royal family. Yukimura is the final back-up character and he joins latest in the game, but also at the highest level. He’s the guy you desperately bring in when you really just need another member to round things out. To recruit him, build a Puppet up to level 3 at MyCastle and then complete a battle.
Yukimura’s personal skill is a passive skill, giving the entire army a +5 bonus to Hit Rate. Nothing too impressive, but it isn’t too awful either. All attacks being 5% more accurate means you’ll be hitting more often, statistically speaking, and it’s hard to be mad at that.
Besides his base class of Mechanist, Yukimura can be a Merchant, Swordmaster, Master-at-Arms, Great Master, or Onmyoji. This is a rather eclectic collection of classes to choose from, but there are some decent skills to be had. Astra, as always, is an incredible choice offensively, and scooping up Swordfaire and Vantage from the Swordmaster isn’t too bad either. The Great Master offers Renewal and Countermagic, two really solid skills that I recommend for almost any character.
Yukimura doesn’t really have the defenses for a direct combat role, so I would recommend placing him in a supportive role like the Great Master, or a ranged offensive role intended to wear opponents down like the Mechanist. Yukimura joins with pretty solid stats but definitely will not be as good as a unit you’ve trained up on your own over the course of the game, particularly when you factor supports into the scenario.

FINALLY! YEESH! I feel like I’ve been working on this post forever, and in a way I have been. I started these guys back in April/May and now this one is finally being posted…late October. However, I am still committed to finishing the Conquest guide as well, and then getting previous guides up-to-date so that all Fire Emblem Fates character guides are formatted the same way. So hang in there for just a bit longer, adventurers, and I’ll get that last guide churned out. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one!

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