Fire Emblem Heroes has tons of characters to choose from. There are apparently almost 100 already in the game. Now, if you’re going through the campaign on the Normal difficulty level, you can get by with pretty much any kind of party. As long as you level people up enough, you can manage the lowest difficulty level without too much thought or diversity. You can play favorites. But, once you start getting to the ninth chapter, experimenting with the Dueling Arena, or testing different difficulty levels, you need to start balancing your party.
It’s all due to the nature of heroes and the weapon triangle that is in place. Certain people are better and worse in Fire Emblem Heroes. You want to focus on 5-star and 4-star heroes, due to the stat caps and skills available to them. Anyone at or under 3-stars isn’t as viable. For people unfamiliar with the series, swords and fire magic will always get the advantage over axes and wind magic. Axes and wind magic will always beat lances and thunder magic. And, of course, lances and thunder magic tops swords and fire. The icons are ever present in the lower right corner of the UI on each map, reminding you of what’s what. The game starts you out with Alfonse, Sharena, and Anna, which cover each of the three spheres, as well as Matthew and Raigh, so you have a ranged colorless thief and wind mage. It is immediately encouraging you to put thought into your party and put forward a balanced group.
This is important, because Fire Emblem Heroes is a game that grows gradually more difficult. As I mentioned earlier, you can find your way through the Normal chapters and easiest maps with almost any party. It’s only when you start facing level 15 or higher opponents or dabbling in the Hard or Lunatic difficulty levels that that weaknesses and strengths really begin to matter. It’s a good idea to have one sword user, one lance wielder, and one axe bearer. The fourth slot is good for an unconventional character. Maybe someone with a colorless weapon, like an archer, thief, ninja, maid/butler, or healer. You could also put in a beast or mage. I recommend an archer or mage. You want someone who can deal some serious damage. While thieves and beasts are nice, it’s good to have someone with range that can really take advantage of foes. Healers are really best kept for training maps, where you want to level, or special maps, where every character needs to survive.
It’s a good idea to keep multiple teams. I have five. Two are two different variations of my “main” team. In one, I have Camilla, Takumi, Elise, and Abel. This is my crew for Dueling Arenas. I don’t have a sword or fire mage, but I have a 5-star tank in Elise, a powerhouse, 5-star Camilla that’s good at taking out enemy Takumis, a 5-star Takumi that can tackle almost any enemy, and a 4-star Abel I use for luring people to Elise. The second main team variation swaps people out for a 4-star Wrys every once in a while and is designed to help train the team. This team is filled with characters over level 20. It’s also wise to have a level 10 ranged team, as well as one around level 5. You want to have groups that allow you to constantly level other characters and make the most of training tower and special map challenges.
You should always have a group of people that covers every possible base. Even if you haven’t collected major characters yet. One of my backup teams is led by a Caeda, which has a buff that increases allies’ speed and naturally boosts nearby friends’ resistance and wields a sword. She’s joined by the wind mage Cecilia with an ability that boosts her attack and an Escape Route ability that lets her teleport to safety near an ally, a healing Wrys that can also attack and inflict slow on enemies, and a dragonic Tiki, whose lightning breath can let her counterattack at any range and increase her attack when her health is low. In my most balanced group, a sword-bearing Hana leads the axe-carrying Arthur, spear-wielding Subaki, and healing Sakura. Each of these extra teams are designed to be as well organized and efficient as possible. Even in cases where I don’t leave myself a member from each portion of the weapon triangle, I have characters with bonuses that make up for it.
Also, you’ll want to use Takumi. There are a lot of really good characters in Fire Emblem Heroes. People like Ryoma, Camilla, Lyn, Hector, Tiki, Leo, Linde, Cordelia, and Marth can be great. But Takumi is on a whole other level. He has amazing growth rates. He has Close Counter, a skill that lets him deal with close range attacks. Vengeance can be improved to grant 50% bonus to attack for damage he’s suffered. He has Fujin Yumi, which lets him pass through foes if his health is under 50%. Keep this guy in your crew.
With Fire Emblem Heroes, it’s about making sure you have a nice mix that works for you. Your team has to be ready to deal with any sort of opponent. You need to be able to make the most of all the maps that appear. While putting together a dream team of your favorite characters a nice thought, it isn’t at all practical. Being balanced is far better and will help you earn those precious feathers you need to get your best characters to a 5-star rank.
Fire Emblem Heroes is available for Apple iOS and Android devices.