As a long-time fan of the Fire Emblem series, I was ecstatic to see how Three Houses handled bow-users. I always found Archers and Snipers to be rather disappointing, so Shamir was a pleasant change of pace. She impressed me so much that I had Byleth reach S support with Shamir during my first playthrough of Three Houses.
I have used her on almost every other playthrough I have done to date, not just because Shamir is always recruitable but because she is one of my favorite characters in the game. I am unsure if I am glad she is so readily available because I am fond of her or if it is due to access to Shamir in every route that her presence on the battlefield became a comfort. Her presence alongside your other units in battle is a true comfort because Shamir is capable of dealing out death with swift precision.
This guide assumes the player is not playing at the Maddening difficulty. You would not have as much room for choice, but while playing on Hard mode or lower, Three Houses is essentially a sandbox. On any difficulty, Shamir is fantastic as soon as you recruit her, but there is some room for optimization. Because she is not a student, Shamir is a far less hands-on character in terms of her development during a playthrough. However, she is powerful and a valued teammate in battles.
Key Info Up Front
- Bases: (Level 11)
- Max HP – 33
- Str – 18
- Mag – 8
- Dex – 21
- Spd – 14
- Lck – 17
- Def – 12
- Res – 8
- Cha – 10
- Defining Ability: Survival Instinct
- Strengths: Lance, Bow
- Weaknesses: Faith
- Base Growth Rates (Not including bonuses from current class): HP – 35, Str – 40, Mag – 20, Dex – 55, Spd – 40, Lck – 55, Def – 20, Res – 15, and Cha – 30
- Hidden Talent: None
- Crest: None
Shamir can be recruited on any route starting from Chapter 6. The player may recruit her at any point until the end of the academy phase, but only once Byleth has reached level 15. She is a Sniper pre-promote who is excellent at taking out enemies at long range. She is one of the strongest bow-users available in Three Houses. The easy access to her in every route makes her a good choice under pretty much any condition.
If you want to build up support points with Shamir, there are several easy methods. You could visit the sauna if you have the DLC, which also has the benefit of increasing the amount of skill experience gained while tutoring Shamir and the amount that Byleth obtains from being taught skills from faculty members.
Fighting nearby in battle, eating meals with her, inviting her to tea, and giving her gifts are the main methods. Remember that most methods of increasing support points consume vital activity points during monastery exploration, but giving gifts consumes none.
- Gifts Shamir likes to receive: a book of sheet music, coffee beans, exotic spices, a hunting dagger, or a sunflower
Before the events of Three Houses, Shamir worked as a mercenary in her homeland of Dagda. During the war that Dagda and Brigid fought against the Adrestian Empire, Shamir left her homeland and started wandering Fodlan.
When Archbishop Rhea took Shamir in, she became a knight of Seiros to repay her debt. However, unlike most knights, she is not a believer or follower of the church. Because of her feelings toward religion and the church, she can become a loyal ally to Byleth, regardless of what route you choose to take through the story.
Shamir generally seems content wherever she is. Though her homeland was Dagda, being a ‘foreigner’ to Fodlan or the like does not factor into her identity and decisions.
Shamir spends her time training and working as a knight of Seiros on various missions and tasks. When Catherine, wielder of the relic Thunderbrand, joins the knights, the two become working partners and fight alongside one another. Despite their vastly different demeanor, Shamir and Catherine seemingly get along well.
Shamir comes off rather blunt and serious in social interactions, while Catherine is boisterous and somewhat playful. Shamir focuses on doing her job and little else. Perhaps due to tragic loss in her past, she avoids befriending people. She also spends a significant amount of time teaching skills to the younger generations, despite not serving as a professor.
While reserved, Shamir is exceedingly honest and plain in her manner of communication. She criticizes people without holding back, though not intending to insult or belittle anyone. When Shamir critiques students, it is in the genuine interest of helping others to improve their abilities. Shamir’s personality sometimes creates awkward situations where she does not perceive even her closest allies as friends, the way they view her.
Shamir is not antisocial or adamant about being disconnected, though. Shamir is open to spending time with others, but she does not seem to seek that out. Instead, she is consistently focused and committed to fulfilling her duties and obligations. She is focused on constant self-improvement and worked hard to develop her skills.
Shamir’s default class is the Sniper. Since the first game in the series, bow-user classes have been a staple of Fire Emblem. It generally serves as a promoted version of the Archer class; Three Houses is no different. However, Three Houses made the Bow Knight an even higher promotion than the Sniper, with more bow range and higher mobility as a mounted unit.
In some games in the series, the Bow Knight is an alternative promotion to the Sniper class. In Three Houses, the Bow Knight class is generally better than the Sniper, as evidenced by the level requirement. A character must reach level 30 to promote into a Master class like the Bow Knight.
For student characters who excel in archery, there is plenty of time to develop the other skills necessary to promote into a Bow Knight. The class requires a C in Lances, A in Bows, and A in Riding. Shamir already has the required lance and bow ranks upon recruitment. However, depending on when you recruit her, you may not have the time to develop her riding to rank A fast enough that it would be worth the promotion. It is not that it is hard to raise the rank and make a Bow Knight Shamir if you want, but there is a benefit of staying in the Sniper class to consider.
When mastered, the Sniper class has an exclusive combat art: Hunter’s Volley. It is powerful enough that I prefer to keep Shamir as a Sniper. That does not mean that her build is complete from the moment you recruit her. There are plenty of ways to make Shamir even better, whether you keep her as a Sniper or make her a Bow Knight.
Here is a breakdown of Shamir’s key abilities:
- Survival Instinct: Grants stat buffs when Shamir initiates combat and defeats an enemy, this personal ability is equipped automatically
- Bow Prowess 5: Gives +20 to hit, +10 evade, and +10 crit avoid when the unit has a bow equipped, this is obtained by reaching A+ bow rank
- Close Counter: Allows the unit to counter adjacent enemies (even if using a bow that cannot attack at 1 range), Shamir has this when recruited
- Battalion Desperation: When an equipped battalion’s HP is <1/3 of the total it allows the unit to have their follow-up attack before an enemy can counter, obtained by raising Authority rank to C
Whichever class you plan to make Shamir’s final goal, there are helpful abilities she can get along the way. She comes with the Close Counter ability, which needs to stay equipped, regardless of the others you choose. In many Fire Emblem games, bow-wielding units struggled during the enemy phase and sometimes felt useless. Because they could not retaliate at close range, they needed to be positioned on the far edge of enemy ranges, preventing them from easily staying close to the action.
Shamir’s defining ability, Survival Instinct, gives her a buff during the rest of a turn after she gets a finishing blow on an enemy. When she initiates combat and defeats a foe, she receives a temporary +4 to Str, Mag, Dex, and Spd. This buff makes Shamir particularly deadly during the enemy phase, but that would be pointless if she cannot retaliate with Close Counter.
Bow Prowess and Close Counter are Shamir’s bread and butter. Battalion Desperation is also very useful to ensure she can confirm a kill on her turn without needing to take an enemy counterattack. Shamir unlocks Battalion Desperation at Authority rank C. When equipped with a low endurance battalion, Shamir will perform a second follow-up attack on enemies she out-speeds before they get to counter. Generally, this results in her taking out an enemy unit before they can even respond.
For some characters, equipping a low-health battalion and using Battalion Desperation is more of a situational ability. For Shamir, it synergizes well with Survival Instinct and ensures she can get a kill on each turn while preventing her from taking damage. That way, Shamir has plenty of health and buffed stats to engage multiple foes during the enemy phase.
Generally, Shamir is a strong ranged combatant intended for taking out a target quickly. She is highly combat-focused and will probably be a stronger bow-user than student characters when you initially recruit her. Like other faculty characters in Three Houses and Pre-promotes throughout the Fire Emblem series, Shamir is a formidable force on the battlefield right away.
Shamir takes little to no investment of player time and resources to contribute immense value to every map. Flying units are some of the best and most dangerous because of their mobility, but they are vulnerable to bow-users. While more common on some maps than others, flying units have enough presence among enemy forces to make Shamir a reliable counter for those types of units.
The battalion Shamir comes equipped with, the Seiros Archers, fit her playstyle well. They have a useful ranged gambit that fires in a diamond-shaped pattern, allowing her to hit three of a monster’s shields with one attack. It is perfect for dealing with the shields, so I generally have Shamir gambit a monster from range, targeting any shielded tiles farther from my other units. Then, I have another character break the closer shields in the front. If utilized efficiently, Shamir can assist in breaking all the monster’s shield tiles in a single turn without giving monster units the chance to retaliate and put others in danger.
As a bow-user, Shamir can operate stationary ballista battlements on the maps in which they exist. These give her even longer range for her attacks, letting Shamir pick off enemies from across the map or weaken a powerful foe safely for units on the front lines to finish off. It can become almost comical how easily Shamir is strong enough to delete enemy units from a distance.
One trick that can make Shamir even more dangerous is using a dancer to refresh her and make another attack. If she got a kill during her first action that turn, the dancer lets Shamir move again but with the powerful buffs granted by Survival Instinct. She also benefits from using a Killer Bow to more reliably one-round enemies to activate her Survival Instinct ability. Note that you cannot forge a Killer Bow and similar weapons from the beginning of the game. To create or purchase advanced equipment, you must raise your professor level.
Avoid focusing only on optional battles and spend time in the monastery to gain access to better weapons to equip Shamir and your other units. Because of Shamir’s high bow rank, she immediately benefits from access to powerful weapons. As soon as you unlock the ability to forge and purchase strong bows with higher rank prerequisites, Shamir will be able to equip them.
Before recruiting Shamir, you have to reach level 15 with your Byleth. The fastest way to get Byleth to level 15 is consistently having Byleth finish off enemies, especially bosses. Giving Byleth as many kills as possible early on allows Shamir recruitment as early as Chapter 6. If you want to have access to Shamir for most of the game, that is the soonest that you can deploy her as a playable unit.
If you get Byleth to level 15 by Chapter 6, you can find and recruit Shamir in the market area during that chapter. It may not be a good idea to give experience only to Byleth if you also want a balanced team with multiple powerful units, so plan carefully. Consider that when Byleth is the MVP of a mission for contributing more than other units, all of your units’ motivation increases for instruction.
I hit level 15 with Byleth by chapter 6 on hard difficulty without feeding a ton of exp and letting other characters fall behind. My alternative method requires planning and some hard choices, but it can result in a better set of units overall and early access to Shamir.
Before starting your playthrough, plan out which units you will use and ignore the rest (I do not recommend this for your first playthrough). By under-deploying for maps early on, you will play with fewer units, which could be challenging at first. Since that small group of units becomes the only one earning experience, it makes all your characters level up sooner.
It might be a little harsh to ignore some of your students, but it does allow Byleth to reach level 15 without all of your other characters falling completely behind on exp. Instead, you can have a small elite squad of characters, all level 10 or higher, by the time you are recruiting Shamir.
Shamir is very helpful during Chapter 6 because the house leader is unavailable during that chapter. Since you are down a unit already, having Shamir there to back you up is invaluable. Even if you recruit her early on, she will not necessarily take up much of your instruction sessions.
You can focus on tutoring your students; Shamir’s skills will not suffer. Because her starting bow rank is so high, there is not much reason to pick different weapons for her to use. Why spend time raising her rank with other weapon skills when she is already so deadly in combat as a bow specialist? Besides, if you keep her focused on bows and raise her rank to A+, Shamir will obtain Bow Prowess level 5.
Once you have Shamir recruited, customizing her goals is a must. If you want her to become a Bow Knight, begin training her Riding skill right away so that it will be A rank by the time she can take the Bow Knight certification. Another way to increase her Riding rank would be assigning Shamir the Stable Duty group task. If you do, check that her partner is a character with whom she can build support.
If you do not care about Bow Knight and will keep Shamir a Sniper, raising her bow rank to A+ for the highest level of Bow Prowess is the next priority. Whether you are focused on increasing her rank in riding or bow, one of Shamir’s first goals should be raising her Authority rank. At Authority rank C, Shamir gets Battalion Desperation which helps her become a deadly force on the battlefield during every enemy phase.
If Shamir approaches the player with a question about bugs, you could answer with the second or third option to increase your professor rank and give her more motivation. This random event also builds support between Byleth and Shamir, like instruction and many other interactions.
Though building support with Shamir is not necessary for recruitment or deployment at any time, the support stat bonuses from placing units close together can be helpful in combat. Building Shamir’s support with Byleth and any other characters you have recruited will aid in any combat strategy.
For the two-toned whetstone side quest, you will be running around trading items with various characters. Eventually, you obtain the whetstone that both Shamir and Catherine desire. If you are using Shamir in your playthrough, this is an excellent opportunity early on to get a Silver Bow for her to use.
When you are finishing the quest, choose to give Shamir the whetstone. Then, you can immediately equip her with the Silver Bow she gave as a reward. It also builds support between Shamir and Byleth.
How Your Choice Affects Gameplay
Unlike the Fire Emblem games in which promotions are permanent, Fire Emblem Three Houses does not require units to stay in a given class. You retain the option to reclass Shamir into a Bow Knight for some maps and keep her as a Sniper for others. The optimal choice could vary depending on your strategic needs. Leveling up with the Bow Knight may not yield results as good as Sniper. If you are planning to wait until the maximum level to promote or only reclass for some maps, you might as well use the master seal on another character’s certification and keep Shamir as a Sniper.
Still, the most notable difference between the two best options for her class is the movement. Her long attack range cuts down on the need for a higher movement stat, but you could always give her the March Ring from Chapter 6 if you feel she is falling behind the other units.
I have tried reclassing her into a Bow Knight and keeping her a Sniper in separate playthroughs. There is not a significant enough effect on the gameplay for it to bother me either way. It is personal preference or influenced by the strategies you are planning with your other units. One option over the other might be optimal depending on your other units’ classes and how you intend to position Shamir.
No matter how you choose to change her playstyle, I found that Shamir is powerful and beneficial for the team regardless. I prefer maintaining access to the Sniper exclusive Hunter’s Volley combat art because Shamir is not the fastest bow-user. Ensuring a double attack is very powerful, especially against powerful foes.
On hard mode or lower, or a New Game + file, it does not matter because the game is forgiving and allows the player to experiment and explore their options without a punishing difficulty spike.
Question: How to recruit Shamir in Fire Emblem Three Houses?
Answer: She is available for recruitment at the start of Chapter 6. She may be recruited any time after that, provided that Byleth has reached level 15. On the Silver Snow route, she is recruited automatically at a certain point in the story. For all other story routes, the player must manually recruit her during the academy phase of the game. Because of her lack of recruitment restrictions or pre-requisites, it is unlikely that you will not have the opportunity to recruit her on any of your playthroughs.
Question: Where is Shamir in Fire Emblem?
Answer: If you want to find where Shamir is located in the monastery while exploring, check the map by pressing R. Depending on what chapter you are in, she can appear in various locations. In chapter 6, for example, she can be found and recruited in the marketplace. Navigating around the map screen allows you to view the characters located in each area by hovering the cursor over the region you are searching. When you find the place where Shamir’s name and icon appear, you can fast travel to that part of the monastery as long as you have visited it at least once.
Question: Can you marry/romance Shamir in Fire Emblem Three Houses?
Answer: Yes, if the form you chose for Byleth at the start of the game was male, Shamir can reach S support and marry the player at the end of the game in any route. Unlike some female characters in Three Houses like Edelgard and Dorothea, Shamir is not a romance option for a female Byleth. However, this does not significantly alter combat or gameplay during the story, only the availability of a possible ending with Shamir. Both male and female Byleth can reach A support rank with Shamir to get the in-combat bonuses.
Even if you do not plan to use Shamir as one of your primary units like I usually do, there is not much reason to avoid using her. Because she is so powerful at long range, Shamir is useful for dispatching foes or at the very least dealing chip damage to powerful enemies from afar. She does not get in the way of positioning your other units.
She can join the player on every route, so there are no restrictions to consider. Shamir is a solid pre-promoted unit that can join your team with almost no effort. Eventually, Byleth will reach the level requirement of 15, regardless of your in-game choices. So, you will have the opportunity to recruit Shamir.
Since Shamir is not a student, she may not participate in mock battles like the Battle of the Eagle and Lion, but she is available for all other missions throughout the game once recruited. Though, do not forget to invest resources into the students since Byleth and Shamir alone would struggle to carry you to victory on every map.
If you want a strong bow-user, you cannot go wrong with Shamir. She does not necessarily require hands-on instruction from the player to contribute to combat and earn her deployment slot with every fight.
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