Fire Emblem: Three Houses revolves around the titular Blue Lions, Golden Deer, and Black Eagles houses, in addition to the Garreg Mach Monastery of the Church of Seiros where they reside. One of the three houses, the Black Eagles house, is led by the mighty Edelgard. I’ve played through all four routes of Three Houses, and Edelgard is both one of my favorite allies and most hated antagonists, depending on the route.
In the game that many consider the prototype for Three Houses, Fire Emblem Fates, characters differed from route to route. Sadly, they were so different that they almost felt like totally different characters instead of the same people in different situations. Three Houses fixes this issue and portrays characters like Dimitri and Edelgard as the same person in all four routes, regardless of whether they’re in the deuteragonist or antagonist role.
In addition to being a great character in the story, Edelgard can be a fantastic unit in battle. However, her availability does, sadly, hamper her gameplay. Most units in Three Houses are available in three to four routes. Sadly, Edelgard is only usable in the first half of Silver Snow and all of Crimson Flower. However, when available, she’s an absolute powerhouse of a unit that can completely dominate maps by herself.
I’ve grown to appreciate Edelgard both in terms of gameplay and story, and I hope that after this guide, you will too. After all, Edelgard may be the second most important character in Three Houses behind Byleth themself.
Edelgard in a Nutshell
Edelgard is the passionate princess of the Adestian Empire. She serves as the leader of one of the three major houses in Gerrag Mach. Edelgard shares a friendly rivalry with Dimitri and Claude at the start of the games, as her Black Eagle house always has with the Blue Lions and Golden Deer.
Gameplay-wise, Edelgard is one of the highest DPS tanks in the game. She’s the slowest and most durable of the house leaders, but all three leaders are so absurdly strong that her speed isn’t that bad in the context of the entire roster. Also, like Claude and Dimitri, Edelgard is so broken that she can work in nearly every class in the game.
Edelgard’s saddest flaw is that she can only be played long-term in the Crimson Flower route, but any player going through Crimson Flower should know how to use the Adestrian Emperor-in-training.
Who is Edelgard?
Warning: This section contains spoilers for all routes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Edelgard is an Adestrian princess and the leader of the Black Eagle house. Thanks to bearing the Minor Crest of Seiros, Edelgard is destined to become the future ruler of the Adestrian Empire. Her oldest friend is Dimitri, with whom she lived in the Kingdom of Faerghus during childhood.
Edelgard’s time in Faerghus with Dimitri was arguably the best period of Edelgard’s life. Afterward, Edelgard was sent back to her kingdom and subject to heinous experiments. Unfortunately, they were the same Crest experiments performed on Lysithea. Like the Golden Deer prodigy, the experiments turned Edelgard’s hair white and granted her a second Crest.
Edelgard’s hatred of Crests and Fodland’s caste system stemmed from these experiments, leading to Edelgard’s true identity: the Flame Emperor. By the start of the game, Edelgard’s plan to upend Fodlan was already in motion.
Thanks to her character’s extreme and unflinching goals, Edelgard is a very divisive character in the story. She serves as the protagonist of the Crimson Flower route, where she and Byleth aim to rule Fodlan together. She is a secondary antagonist in the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes. Finally, she’s the main antagonist of the Azure Moon route. Her role in Azure Moon is partially due to her past relationship with Dimitri, who was more heartbroken than anyone over her betrayal.
Edelgard’s Key Info
When Byleth recruits Edelgard, she comes as a Level 1 Noble with her Minor Crest of Seiros. Her learning strengths are in Sword, Axe, Authority, and Armor. In addition, she has a budding talent in Reason that lets her function as a magic user if she wants to. Edelgard’s weaknesses are in Bow and Faith, and I recommend keeping Edelgard far away from archery and healing roles. Thanks to her insane stats and growth rates, she can technically fulfill both roles, but they aren’t what she shines at.
HP: 29 (40%)
Str: 13 (55%)
Mag: 6 (45%)
Dex: 6 (45%)
Spd: 8 (40%)
Lck: 5 (30%)
Def: 6 (35%)
Res: 4 (35%)
Charm: 10 (60%)
The direction the player takes Edelgard is up to them, but she has one class that surpasses the rest. Emperor, her exclusive class, is an Axe-based class with good durability and immense damage. I recommend that anyone taking Edelgard in a physical direction stick with Emperor. However, a fun magic build with her budding talent in Reason is also viable (especially for non-Maddening runs.) To that effect, players should know the magic that Edelgard can learn:
My top two recommendations for a magic Edelgard are Dark Knight and War Cleric, with a strong preference for Dark Knight. The tragedy is choosing between proficiency in Axes and Dark/Black Magic for a Magic-based build. The War Cleric gets to use Edelgard’s legendary Axe but sticks with her weak Faith learning. On the other hand, dark Knight will get access to powerful spells like Hades Ω and Luna Λ that few units learn, which I believe is the fun of playing a magic Edelgard build in the first place.
Of course, I recommend that players on Maddening or Hard who want to optimize Edelgard forego magic and take the Emperor’s path.
Edelgard can have supports with any of the following units:
- Byleth (Male Byleth and Female Byleth)
Romance gradually became more ingrained in Fire Emblem as the series progressed, and having characters with diverse sexualities is an integral part of that process. Edelgard is an excellent example of bisexual representation in Fire Emblem. Not only can she have a romantic relationship with both male and female Byleth, but she can also have endings that imply romantic relationships with Ferdinand, Caspar, Hanneman, or Manuela. Among these, Ferdinand and the Byleths are my favorite romance options for Edelgard.
Edelgard has a very intense relationship with one person that she can’t have supports with: Dimitri. Edelgard and Dimitri have confirmed that they were each other’s first loves. Dimitri still arguably has feelings for Edelgard toward the beginning of the story, which makes the fact that they can’t be together on any of the four routes all the more heartbreaking.
Food and Gifts for Edelgard
Having food with characters and giving them gifts after tea parties is a beautiful way to increase your bond with them. However, picking the right food and gifts is essential. In Three Houses, time is a limited resource, and players should wisely utilize their limited chances to bond with everyone. My best hint would be that Edelgard’s favorites are usually very sophisticated or overly sweet for those who want to guess for themselves. For those that want to know her favorites right away, I’ve provided a list here:
- Sweet Bun Trio
- Saghert and Cream
- Fish and Bean Soup
- Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Onion Gratin Soup
- Fish Sandwich
- Peach Sorbet
- Sautéed Pheasant and Eggs
- Vegetable Stir-Fry
As far as gifts go, Edelgard likes the following presents:
- Armored Bear Stuffy
- Owl Feather
- Board Game
Edelgard as an Enemy
Warning: This section contains spoilers for all routes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Edelgard is a potential enemy in all of the four routes. The first encounter against her is a friendly dual in one of the earliest chapters: Rivalry of the Houses. After that, depending on the difficulty she’s encountered as a level 3/4/8 Noble. Defeating her will be reasonably straightforward this early on, even on Maddening.
The next challenge against Edelgard is in the Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes. After that, another friendly match is the Battle of the Eagle and Lion. She’ll be a level 15/16/22 Lord with a Tomahawk and Steel Axe. General is the only skill to watch out for in this fight, as it will weaken gambits. Regular magic attacks are the best way to finish her off in this fight.
The next battle against Edelgard is the story’s final major event before the routes heavily split. All four routes will face Edelgard as the Flame Emperor, but Black Eagles professors will have the option to save Edelgard and join the Crimson Flower route. They’ll enter the Silver Snow route if they choose not to protect her. Commander and Counterattack are a lethal combination in this fight. Getting some chip damage with units that won’t fall to the level 23/24/31 Edelgard’s counterattack is recommended, and then finish her off with a strong magic user.
An Armored Lord version of Edelgard at level 35/36/42 is one of the main bosses for The Blood of Eagle and Lion. Fortunately, this version of Edelgard is very susceptible to characters like Annette with anti-armor and can even die in one hit.
Silver Snow and Verdant Wind players encounter Edelgard for the final time in Conclusion of the Crossing Roads. Her Raging Storm attack can quickly finish off a character in one blow, so it’s recommended to position characters to widdle her down and finish her off in the same turn. I recommend that Verdant Wind players end Edelgard’s life with Claude for some exclusive dialogue.
Edelgard has the honor of being the final boss for the Azure Moon route. This fight is about Dimitri, strategically and in terms of story. Pool every resource into making sure Dimitri gets his final battle with Edelgard. I recommend a healer and dancer, and both should be supporting Dimitri. Other units can take out Edelgard, but it’s more efficient and send Edelgard off with the person she has more history with than anyone.
Edelgard’s Key Skills and Weapons
Edelgard’s personal skill is Imperial Lineage. The skill gives her a 1.2x boost in experience. This skill is given to all the house leaders to help ensure that they stay the strongest team members as intended. Later on, the three house leader skills get unique secondary abilities. For Edelgard, she receives a resistance boost if she takes no action. The new ability helps support her “enemy phase” playstyle.
I will mostly cover Edelgard’s Emperor route regarding skills. Her base kit and personal skill lean toward building for the enemy phase, which means she should position herself as the primary target for enemies while ensuring she’s safe and can deliver powerful counterattacks.
Her best defensive skill is Pavise, which comes from mastering Foretress Knight. Pavise is complimented well by Aegis, which Edelgard gets through Paladin. These skills increase the defensive part of her build tremendously, leaving one significant thing for an enemy phase Edelgard: counterattacks. To this effect, Wrath from the Warrior class is the best option.
A more aggressive Edelgard can function well as a player phase unit. Death Blow from Brigand and Darting Blow from Pegasus Knight will help Edelgard tear through teams. However, I consider Edelgard with this type of build as a worse Dimitri that uses Axes instead of Lances. Still, Edelgard is a powerful and versatile unit, and a build like this can even clear the game on Maddening.
Why Should I Care About Edelgard?
The house leaders are the most important characters in Three Houses outside of Byleth. Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude should all be huge parts of their routes in gameplay and the story. Any player going through Crimson Flower should treat their Emperor well, and any Azure Moon and Verdant Wind players should be ready to take her down.
Edelgard’s gameplay is fun and versatile. Fans could play the Crimson Flower route four or five times and still have unique builds for Edelgard that are all strong enough to clear Maddening. In addition, she’s among the top four most potent student units in the game, generally considered the three house leaders and Lysithea.
Edelgard’s story is deep and complex. She has fascinating relationships with multiple characters, but Hubert and Dimitri are the most interesting. She also has a lot in common with house rivals Lysithea and Sylvain, although the other two are much more peaceful about their hatred for Crests. Still, they make great recruitment options, and Edelgard can even have support conversations with her experimental “twin” Lysithea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who Is The Best Character For Edelgard To Marry?
Answer: Marriage doesn’t necessarily work the same in Three Houses as in Awakening and Fates, but the best romantic partners for Edelgard are both Byleths and Ferdinand.
Question: What Is The Best Gift For Edelgard?
Answer: The Board Game
Question: What’s The Best Build For Edelgard?
Answer: The best class by far for Edelgard is her entire class Emperor.
Question: Who Should I Recruit in Crimson Flower?
Answer: Lysithea and Sylvain are both very powerful and share many of Edelgard’s views on Crests, making them exciting allies for her in terms of gameplay and story.
Edelgard is both a fantastic protagonist and antagonist. She seems like a more refined version of the role that Xander and Ryoma played in Fates. Thanks to the writing changes in Three Houses, fans see Edelgard in four very different situations and see four sides to a complex character.
Regarding gameplay, Edelgard is one of the strongest characters in the entire game. She’s up there with Dimitri and Lysithea in the echelon of game-breaking characters that can make even a maddening playthrough feel simple. Her exclusive class, “Emperor,” is the highest damage tank class in the game, and her personal skill is also great.
Edelgard is one of the best opponents in Fire Emblem when Byleth encounters her as an enemy. She’s as fearsome an enemy as she is advantageous as an ally, and players should be ready for an intense boss battle. For fans who have only experienced Edelgard as an enemy, I hope this guide has given them a reason to try using her in the Crimson Flower route.
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