From being weary of using Mages to missing characters, I’ve seen a number of people playing Fire Emblem Echoes and making a few mistakes! Let’s fix that problem by sharing some advice based on what I’ve picked up throughout the game.
1) Promote ASAP
Unlike most Fire Emblem games, Fire Emblem Echoes’ growth rates in either Normal or Hard (probably a bit worse in Hard) is not very good. The times where you saw characters get four or more stat increases needs to be celebrated here since it doesn’t always happen. At best you only get two stat increases a good portion of the time.
So, knowing that, make sure that when the game tells you your character can promote, or you see a Mila Statue next to your character in the menu screen, promote them. The standard convention in Fire Emblem is you promote your characters when they get to 15-20. Unless you love to grind, just do yourself a favor and upgrade your units early!
2) Hide Alm or Celica on Dungeons or Villages on the World Map
Once you get to Act 3 you can take control of Alm and Celica on the World Map. More often depending on how you’re pacing yourself enemy reinforcements spawn and they’ll be the one to engage with you…even if you’re advancing on someone else’s map. There are at least two ways to avoid them: you engage an enemy on your side, or you place one of your characters at a Village or a Dungeon. There seems to be a set amount of reinforcements that can spawn on the map, so if you don’t want to engage a foe while you’re playing Celica’s side, you can plop Alm at a Village or Dungeon and complete Celica’s side without worries.
3) Sometimes, it can be worth it to go back to a village.
In addition to making sure you talk to all the villagers when you reach a village or town, make sure you go back after completing a battle. One example is making sure you can recruit the Whitewings Catria and Palla — after you battle with them on a map, make sure you go back to the town you saw them in to recruit them! The last thing you want to do is go on without recruiting units you’re gonna need for those Terrors.
4) Remember, a good strategy to deal with a spellcaster is to deplete their HP so they can’t use it.
Mages (and also Clerics) in Echoes are probably more significant than any of the other FEs games combined — that’s only because mages are super needed, from being able to damage a lot of low-resistance foes to being able to ignore terrain, to having magic to decimate Terrors. It might be safe to say it’ll be a challenge beating this game without them. That said, they’re still like most mages in FE in that their defense sucks, and they’re not aided by the hit rate in this game either. Then you get to how much HP magic will cost, and that’s when you have to truly be careful about what to use and when to use it.
But there’s a few things to keep in mind — if you are timely with your magic, then the HP cost isn’t an issue. In addition, the characters will learn an ability to recover HP, and rings that you find will give you 5 HP on every turn. So the onus is on how to make the enemy pay for that, since they won’t have that advantage. Making sure you do that will greatly help you save Delthea by the way!
5) Attack with a 50% or less hit rate anyways.
I’ve already had a situation where a 95% attack missed, so i.e, the hit rates in Echoes are just as bad as Fates (I had a 98% miss in Fates). Generally speaking the higher the better, but more often than not, if you want to beat this game you’ll have to attack with the % against you. One big example is Silque and Genny, where Nosferatu’s hit rate is locked at 60% (sometimes depending on matches it can go up but the highest I’ve had was 65%). But then there are others, where you could attack an enemy that’s using terrain. And the hit rate is 40% or less.
My advice? Attack anyways. Sometimes you should consider if it’s worth it, but you might get lucky and thus pull off a lucky hit. Or two.