It’s Thursday, which means another Fire Emblem Fates map DLC update. This week we have one new map, called Vanguard Dawn. It’s a rather important one, as it adds the Vanguard class to the game. Every time you beat the map, you’ll receive a Vanguard Brand that can be used on a male unit.
It’s also important because it’s a callback. Fire Emblem Fates’ Vanguard Dawn is based on a Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn stage. Your goal is to survive for 12 turns or go after the three bosses. There are multiple waves of enemies, making it something of a gauntlet. The map is a mirror image of the original map, and thus poses the same sorts of challenges. However, if someone has the Phoenix mode enabled, defeated allies will still respawn after being killed.
There are about 40 enemies to start on the Vanguard Dawn map. They’re all advanced units, with the “weakest” ones being around level 12. You’re allowed to have 15 allies on the map. I recommend having some characters with strong defenses, like Generals or Great Knights, blocking the stairways leading up to your main force. These are great spots to put Effie and Benny, if you’ve been working with them. Use the impassable barricades to your advantage. Place strong archers like Takumi and Kiragi and mages like Leo and Ophelia back there. Also, have as many healers around as possible. You need to survive 12 turns or defeat the bosses, and either way it’s a difficult challenge.
I also recommend having some Dark Fliers or Falcon Knights on hand. The boss characters are the ones holding skill scrolls. (These will drop when they’re defeated, naturally.) If you want to get these for units, you’ll need to send someone out to try and topple at least one of the bosses. A level 20 Onmyoji holds the Veteran Intuition skill scroll, a level 20 General has Aether, and a level 20 Swordmaster has Heavy Blade. A few other enemies are holding Gold Bars.
People playing Fire Emblem Fates with amiibo will already have some idea of what to expect from the Vanguard class. It’s Ike’s class. Male characters who become Vanguards can use swords and axes. They learn Aether, which offers two consecutive hits that use the Sol and Luna skill, Heavy Blade, which offers strength +3 and speed –1, Veteran Intuition, which offers +15 critical evade, and Strengthtaker, which adds +2 strength after every enemy beaten, up to 10. I made Xander into a Vanguard, and it’s working pretty well for him.
The Vanguard Dawn DLC also offers skill scrolls for Aether, Heavy Blade, and Veteran’s Intuition. It’s a good way to get these skills for female units who didn’t become Great Lords. Aether is a good fit for any character with a high skill stat, since the skill stat divided by two is the trigger percentage for the ability.
Fire Emblem Fates’ Vanguard Dawn is available today, either in the $17.99 Map Pack 1 or $1.99 single map. People who own the Map Pack can get it by going to the Dragon Gate, choosing Purchase Content, and allowing the game up update. Fire Emblem Fates is immediately available for the Nintendo 3DS.