Magic-based classes are some of the most useful units in Fire Emblem. Whether it’s providing invaluable utility as Staff users or raining down arcane destruction on your foes, magical characters have a lot of upsides.
One of those upsides, however, is rarely mobility. Most magical characters are infantry units and suffer from pretty mediocre Movement. Even most promoted magical classes. But there are a few exceptions, like the subject of today’s guide, the Valkyrie.
If you’ve checked out some of my other guides on classes like the Paladin or Cavalier, you already know how incredible mounted units generally are for mobility alone. So does that automatically make Valkyries superior to their foot-locked counterparts? Not necessarily. But there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the Valkyrie class, so let’s get this chronicle started (I’m waiting to see who catches that).
History of the Valkyrie
Unfortunately, the series’ debut Valkyrie had a mixed reception with the community. She has a pretty late join time and Pure Jagen tier base stats. Her join chapter also heavily restricts the mobility of mounted units, so she can’t even have the best first impression.
Cecilia does have a few things going for her that make her a good unit, especially on Hard Mode. She starts with a C rank in Staves, and it doesn’t take much training to get her to a B rank to access Physic. She also has an A in Anima magic, allowing her to use Aircalibur immediately. Conveniently enough, Chapter 14 has plenty of enemy Wyverns to use it on.
Valkyries took over as the primary promotion for Troubadours from the Paladin class. Valkyries maintain the Troubadour’s usage of Staves and gain access to various forms of magic, typically Anima. For most of the series, only female characters are Valkyries. In my opinion, this was a very welcome and realistic promotion. It never made sense to me how girls on horses with magic healing sticks would promote to Sword-wielding, armor-clad Paladins. That’s near Digimon-tier leaps of evolution logic (For those not familiar with Digimon, it’s well known for having numerous borderline absurd evolution trees).
Valkyries maintained their status as the go-to promotion choice for Troubadours in the remaining two GBA titles, The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones. The only notable change was the shift in their choice of magic in FE8. In The Sacred Stones, Valkyries use Light magic instead of Anima. The change makes sense since Clerics can also become Valkyries in The Sacred Stones and the religious-based magic classes all use Light magic. But unfortunately, this served as a slight nerf to the class. Light magic is the weakest of the three forms in the series, and thus this change reduced Valkyries’ offensive capabilities. It doesn’t make them useless as attackers, but you will see a significant dropoff in damage.
The Valkyrie appears in the Tellius saga, but the character Mist is the only character capable of becoming a Valkyrie. Considering Mist is a Cleric, you would think Intelligent Systems would continue the trend of Valkyries using Light magic. Instead, the Valkyrie class in the Tellius saga is near identical to the female Paladin from the 4th and 5th games and uses Swords and Staves. The reversion heavily skewered the Valkyrie’s value in favor of being a support unit. Valkyries are hardly your best Sword-users, after all.
The Valkyrie class returns to its roots in Awakening and Fates, using Staves and Tomes. Fire Emblem Fates also introduces the first male Valkyries in the series. Technically. It would be awkward for male characters to be called Valkyries, so Intelligent Systems instead renamed the class to Strategist. Not exactly their best work as far as thematically appropriate names go, but it could’ve been worse.
Players can use the Valkyrie class in Three Houses, but not automatically. First, players must go through the Cindered Shadows DLC to obtain an Abyssian Exam Pass. It’s an item necessary to promote units into one of four special classes, the Valkyrie being one of them.
After obtaining the Abyssian Exam Pass, a level 20 unit must pass the Certification Exam with a B rank in Reason and Riding to become a Valkyrie.
Skills of the Valkyrie
Valkyries may not be good at protecting the throne of Asgard from the likes of Hela, but they have other skills that make them worth using in your army.
In total, Valkyries have had eight unique skills across the series.
Valkyries first gain access to Sol in Path of Radiance as an Occult skill. In its FE9 incarnation, it heals Valkyries for the total damage taken by an enemy.
Valkyries can use Sol again in Radiant Dawn as a mastery skill. It is a new and improved version (Depending on who you ask). In Radiant Dawn, Sol triples the damage you deal upon an enemy and heals your Valkyrie for half the damage dealt. You sacrifice HP recovery but gain a significant buff in damage output. It’s a worthy tradeoff if you ask me.
Canto is one of the best skills in the series, allowing mounted units to use their leftover Movement after taking action.
Canto’s primary purpose for me is using it to rescue drop units that are in danger, and Valkyries make for great rescue droppers. However, be mindful that they aren’t as good at Canto as other mounted units like Paladins.
Rescuing allies will slow you down significantly, likely enough for enemies to double you. And you do not want your Valkyrie getting double by any physical unit (Except something weak like a Thief. They’ll live that).
Rally Resistance is a level 5 skill of the Valkyrie class in Awakening and Fates. It’s essentially an AOE Barrier Staff, increasing the Resistance of all allies within a 3-tile radius in Awakening and 2-tile radius in Fates by +4 for a single turn. It’s an excellent support skill.
Learnable by Valkyries in Awakening at level 15, Dual Support+ increases the potency of support bonuses during Pair Ups. Simple but effective.
Learnable in Fates at level 15, Inspiration buffs ally damage by +2 and decreases damage received by -2 so long as they are within a 2-tile radius of your Strategist. Essentially, it’s a weaker rally skill.
Black Magic Range+1
Pretty self-explanatory as a skill, Black Magic Range+1 is a class skill of Valkyries in Three Houses and increases the range of Black Magic by 1. It’s a pretty nifty skill that allows your Valkyrie to attack from a safer distance away.
Dark Magic Range+1
Another class skill of the Valkyrie, Dark Magic Range+1, increases the range of Dark Magic by 1.
Uncanny Blow is the mastery skill of the Valkyrie class in Three Houses. When a Valkyrie initiates combat, Uncanny Blow gives them a flat +30 to their Hit Rate. Accuracy is never really an issue for Valkyries, but a little extra insurance doesn’t hurt.
What Makes A Valkyrie?
Valkyries are one of two horseback mounted magical classes in Fire Emblem, alongside the Mage Knight. While the Mage Knight is more combat-oriented, the Valkyrie is a mixture of support and offensive capabilities.
Troubadours, the usual base class of Valkyries, often have worse join times when compared to Clerics and Priests, making Troubadours inferior Staff users initially. But once they become Valkyries, the tide tips in Valkyries’ favor (Except for The Sacred Stones because of the Slayer skill). Valkyries’ most obvious advantage over all magical infantry units is their vastly superior mobility and access to Canto. Their incredible Movement allows them to cover a lot of ground and function as better Staff support than infantry Staff users.
Valkyries also have significant advantages in their stat spreads, namely Speed and Luck. While magical classes typically are fast across the board, some units can end up with Speed barely above average. In many scenarios, that is somewhat slow. Valkyries tend not to have that problem. I almost always cap out on Speed, which allows them to double almost everyone and aids in their survivability.
Valkyries are also much better when it comes to Luck. Most magical infantry units have below-average Luck at best and horrendous Luck at worst. That makes them very susceptible to critical hits. It can get so bad that you may have to give them something like an Iron Rune or Hoplon Guard to be safe. Valkyries, however, will have high Luck, maxed out if you’re extra lucky, and don’t need to worry much about crits. When you add their Speed and Luck together, you’ll have a very elusive unit that’s nigh-impossible to hit in most scenarios.
Valkyries have sky-high Resistance and can easily stonewall enemy magic users. Valkyries are extremely valuable in baiting out long-range spells like Bolting, Purge, or Eclipse. Thanks to their high Movement, you can usually get within range of these spells before enemy physical units can reach you, which tends not to be the case with their infantry counterparts (Unless you taxi them with a mounted unit).
As a hybrid class, Valkyries won’t be the hardest hitting Magic users in your army, but outside of high Resistance enemies, can dish out more than enough damage. Besides Falcoknights, Valkyries can rip through nearly every physical unit. They boast high Skill and will have few accuracy issues.
Valkyries share weaknesses with the rest of the magic-based classes, those being poor HP and Defense. Valkyries fare much better than other magical units thanks to having high evasiveness, but on the occasions they do get hit, they can’t take damage well. I strongly recommend giving them an Angelic Robe, as this usually gives them enough extra HP to tank a hit without worrying about dying.
How Many Playable Valkyries Exist In Fire Emblem?
We have plenty of Troubadours that become Valkyries, but the number of pre-promoted Valkyries across the series is small. Three, to be exact.
- Cecilia (The Binding Blade)
- Ethlyn (Awakening)
- Hapi (Three Houses)
Is The Valkyrie Class Good?
The Valkyrie is slightly weaker in The Sacred Stones due to using Light magic instead of Anima. Their use of Swords instead of Magic in the Tellius Saga makes them less valuable as a hybrid class and mostly a support one.
But in pretty much every other appearance, the Valkyrie is rock-solid. You will need to use Tomes pretty heavily to get them to a decent enough rank to access stronger spells (To compensate for their somewhat middle-of-the-road Magic stat). Once they get going, though, I promise you won’t be disappointed. They’re capable enough fighters and the only magical unit I feel comfortable sending off alone. Though, given their similar Movement, Valkyries make for great companions of Paladins. They function well as offensive units, but their Staff utility is where they will always shine the most.
Who Is The Best Valkyrie In Fire Emblem?
I gave her a little bit of flak at the beginning of this guide, but the title of best Valkyrie still goes to Cecilia (For now).
While her stats are underwhelming, Cecilia still has a lot of value. Guiding Rings are very rare in The Binding Blade, so any pre-promoted magical unit is a plus. She’s an immediate Aircalibur user in a game chock-full of Wyverns and an additional mounted Staff user. You can get her Staff rank up quickly by spamming a Barrier Staff, and it shouldn’t take long for her to reach A. Playing on Hard Mode is needed to see how useful Cecilia truly is.
Question: Are Valkyries the best class in the series?
Answer: I can’t say for sure if they’re the best magical class overall. But Valkyries definitely have my vote for best in The Binding Blade and The Blazing Blade.
Question: Which is better, the Valkyrie or the Mage Knight?
Answer: Mage Knights are cute and having access to Swords as a Magic-focused class is quirky, but Mage Knights lack the Strength needed to take full advantage of a physical weapon. I go Valkyrie over Mage Knight every time.
Question: Where would you rank Valkyries on a Guiding Ring priority list?
Answer: I would rank Valkyries above Sages but below Bishops. Mages can do fine offensively, and Bishops need the promotion to get Light magic and the additional Movement. Druids are debatably above Valkyries, depending on the game. There are plenty of Anima magic users but typically few Dark magic users. I use Valkyries more for their Staff utility than offense, and they do that fine as Troubadours.
Valkyries are a fun class. It’s hilarious watching them dodge nearly everything thrown at them. They also make for great bait. You can place them in some terrain and use them as bait to distract enemies. While enemies try and fail to hit your Valkyries, you can slowly chip away at them with weaker units you need to train, like your Archers.
There are definitely too few Valkyries in Fire Emblem, a mistake that I noticed Intelligent Systems repeatedly makes when it comes to pre-promoted units. The class has been out for two decades by this point, and we only have 3 Valkyries. One of them is a SpotPass character, and the other is a DLC character. We could definitely do with some more Valkyrie representation in the main story of future Fire Emblem titles.
Aside from that, I have no complaints. Intelligent Systems got this class right from the get-go, which is rare. Just give us more.
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