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Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

Battle Advantages and Disadvantages

Nathan Garvin

Information about Battle Advantages (and Battle Disadvantages) in Fire Emblem Three Hopes, including what are Battle Advantages, what effects do they have, and what weapons types and Combat Abilities have advantage over different weapon and enemy types.

What Are Battle Advantages in Fire Emblem Three Hopes?

If you’re played a Fire Emblem before, you’re probably familiar with the Weapon Triangle:

  • fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png Sword beats fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png axe.
  • fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png Axe beats fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png lance.
  • fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Lance beats fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png sword.

It’s a strategic element in the turn-based strategy role-playing games that adds a bit more flavor to proceedings than simply comparing offensive stats to defensive stats. Pros and cons of different unique types and equipment loadouts, all that good stuff. Battle Advantage is the Three Hopes equivalent of that system.

(1 of 4) Advantages and disadvantages will be marked on the Battle Map,

Some weapon types, Combat Arts and Magics are stronger against certain types of weapons and enemies, and while there are various advantage tiers and contributing sources of advantage/disadvantage, the effects are more or less the same: a unit that has advantage will have an easier time knocking enemies back, triggering their Stun Gauge to appear, and will deplete their enemy’s Stun Gauge faster. Once an enemy’s Stun Gauge has been emptied, you’ll be able to perform a Critical Rush, a powerful attack that often kills enemy units outright.

Simply put, if you have advantage over your enemy, they’ll become much, much easier to deal with, both offensively and defensively… in the latter case because offense is the best defense in Three Hopes, and an enemy that is constantly having their attacks interrupted is one that’s not likely to be much of a threat. It’s still possible to defeat enemies you have disadvantage against, but the AI will struggle considerably if assigned to fight foes they have disadvantage against.

Advantage and Disadvantage is noted by a blue up arrow icon fireemblemthreehopesadvantageicon.png and a red down arrow icon fireemblemthreehopesdisadvantageicon.png, respectively. The more up or down arrows, the greater the level of advantage or disadvantage. These will appear both on the battle map when a unit is selected, and during normal gameplay next to the enemy’s name. Keep these blue and red arrow icons in mind when giving your units [orders].

Weapon Type Advantages and Disadvantages

There are numerous sources of Advantage in Fire Emblem Three Hopes, the most common of which is your equipped weapon. The Weapon Triangle from the days of yore is still in effect, but Three Hopes has expanded this somewhat so that bows have advantage over gauntlets, gauntlets have advantage over tomes, and tomes have advantage over bows.

Weapon fireemblemthreehopesadvantageicon.png Advantage fireemblemthreehopesdisadvantageicon.png Disadvantage
fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png Swords fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png Axes fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Lances
fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Lances fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png Swords fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png Axes
fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png Axes fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Lances fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png Swords
fireemblemthreehopesbowsicon.png Bows fireemblemthreehopesgauntletsicon.png Gauntlets fireemblemthreehopestomesicon.png Tomes
fireemblemthreehopesgauntletsicon.png Gauntlets fireemblemthreehopestomesicon.png Tomes fireemblemthreehopesbowsicon.png Bows
fireemblemthreehopestomesicon.png Tomes fireemblemthreehopesbowsicon.png Bows fireemblemthreehopesgauntletsicon.png Gauntlets

In addition to that, different types of units can be weak against different sorts of weapons. The only matchup that’s inherently disadvantageous for any particular unit involves bows, which have advantage against every fireemblemthreehopesflyericon.png flying class in the game (Pegasus Knight, Falcon Knight, Wyvern Rider, Wyvern Lord). There are, however, specific weapons that have advantage over other types of units/enemies, including weapons that have advantage against fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png armored units (Armored Knight, Fortress Knight, etc), fireemblemthreehopescavalryicon.png mounted units (Cavalier, Paladin, etc.) and fireemblemthreehopesmonstericon.png Monsters.

Some specific weapons have bonuses against different types of enemies - the Rapier has advantage against both armored and mounted enemies, for example.

Weapon Advantages
fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png Armorslayer fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png
fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png Rapier fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png fireemblemthreehopescavalryicon.png
fireemblemthreehopesswordsicon.png Wingthresher fireemblemthreehopesflyericon.png
fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Horseslayer fireemblemthreehopescavalryicon.png
fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Heavy Spear fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png
fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Flycatcher fireemblemthreehopesflyericon.png
fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Blessed Lance fireemblemthreehopesmonstericon.png
fireemblemthreehopeslancesicon.png Spear of Assal fireemblemthreehopescavalryicon.png
fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png Hammer fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png
fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png Axe of Zoltan fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png
fireemblemthreehopesaxesicon.png Mace fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png
fireemblemthreehopesbowsicon.png Blessed Bow fireemblemthreehopesflyericon.png fireemblemthreehopesmonstericon.png
fireemblemthreehopesgauntletsicon.png Wolf Fangs fireemblemthreehopescavalryicon.png
fireemblemthreehopestomesicon.png Defender’s Tome fireemblemthreehopesarmoredicon.png fireemblemthreehopescavalryicon.png

The advantages and disadvantages between weapon types (and the eternal animosity between archers and flyers) are close to universal rules in Three Hopes, but strengths versus armored units, mounted units and monsters are more on a case-by-case basis, typically only possessed by a few specific weapons within a class. Armorslayer swords have advantage against mounted units, Rapiers have advantage against armored units and mounted units, Wingthreshers have advantage against flyers - these are properties of specific types of swords, not swords as a class.

(1 of 3) Check the bottom right of your screen in the Convoy menu to see a characters current advantages.

Speaking of classes, your class can alter your advantages/disadvantages beyond what you’d expect for that class’s preferred weapon type. In fact, a character’s class (more specifically the various “Buster” Class Abilities you’ll get while that class is active) is what really determines advantage, with the equipped weapon just being easier-to-remember (and more faithful to the mainline Fire Emblem games) examples. The Dancer trades advantage over axes for advantage over tomes, while the Dark Mage and Dark Bishop both have advantage over mounted units rather than the standard advantage over bows.

Battalions are a quick and painless way to give characters advantages against specific weapon types or enemies.

Battalions and Weapon Advantage

While your class’s advantages and disadvantages are fairly rigid, you can customize your advantages somewhat by equipped Battalions. While Battalions have numerous functions (check out the link page for more details) when it comes to advantages, things are pretty straightforward. Every Battalion will bestow its wearer with a “Resist” ability, which will typically give one tier greater advantage versus a specific weapon type or enemy. Most sword Battalions give advantage against axes, lance Battalions give advantages versus swords, and so on. The only oddity here is with magic-using Battalions (tomes) who either give advantage against bows or Monsters.

Combat Arts and Magic and Advantage

Not only does your active class and specific weapons affect your advantage, but individual Combat Arts and Magics have their own advantages. Check out the right side of the screen while looking at Combat Arts and Magic via the “Set Equipment” menu in the Convoy to see the advantages each individual Combat Art and Magic bestows. Equipping the right Combat Arts and Magics for the job can make your life significantly easier.

(1 of 2) Various Combat Arts,

Various Combat Arts, (left), and Magics have advantage against different types of enemies. (right)

Equipped Abilities and Advantage

Your Class Abilities bestow various advantages upon your character, the most notable of which being the various “Buster” abilities which are innate to specific classes. They are, in fact, the source of most of the “weapon based” advantages/disadvantages in the game. These innate Class Abilities aren’t the only abilities that modify your advantages, however, as some classes can learn abilities that give them further advantages or mitigate disadvantages. These include the following:

Ability Source Effect
Icon Swordbreaker Dark Knight, Death Knight, Falcon Knight, Great Lord, Holy Knight Grants one tier greater advantage against enemies equipped with swords. Increases damage to them by 50%.
Icon Lancebreaker Great Knight, Wyvern Lord Grants one tier greater advantage against enemies equipped with lances. Increases damage to them by 50%.
Icon Axebreaker Asura, Enlightened One, Mortal Savant, Trickster Grants one tier greater advantage against enemies equipped with axes. Increases damage to them by 50%.
Icon Bowbreaker Dark Bishop, Gremory Grants one tier greater advantage against enemies equipped with bows. Increases damage to them by 50%.
Icon Gauntletbreaker Bow Knight Grants one tier greater advantage against enemies equipped with gauntlets. Increases damage to them by 50%.
Icon Tomebreaker War Master Grants one tier greater advantage against enemies equipped with tomes. Increases damage to them by 50%.
Ability Source Effect
Icon Nullify Armored Effect Great Knight Nullifies effectiveness against armored units.
Icon Nullify Cavalry Effect Holy Knight Nullifies effectiveness against cavalry units.
Icon Nullify Flying Effect Wyvern Lord Nullifies effectiveness against flying units.

Note that not every character is guaranteed to get the Class Abilities listed above, as the Class Abilities a character will learn as they max out various Class Ranks varies on a character-by-character basis. Also note that most characters only learn one “Breaker” Class Ability, and that’s usually from their preferred Master Class. Bernadetta will learn “Gauntletbreaker” by leveling as Bow Knight, Mercedes will learn “Bowbreaker” by leveling as a Gremory, Lorenz will learn “Swordbreaker” by leveling as a Dark Knight, and so on. For more information on how to learn new Class Abilities, check out the aptly named How to Learn New Abilities in Three Hopes page.

How to Mitigate Disadvantages

Your class, weapon, Battalion, Class Abilities and Combat Arts and Magics can all give you advantages in combat, but regardless of all these things, something, somewhere is going to have advantage against you… Especially if you’re playing any class that makes use of heavy armor or any sort of mount. While there are Class Abilities you can use to mitigate these disadvantages (see the “Nullify” abilities on the table above), not all characters gain access to these abilities, and sometimes you’re just going to want some other ability equipped. In that case, there’s still hope, as some accessories will mitigate disadvantages:

Accessory Effect
Aurora Shield Nullify Flying Effect
Kadmos Shield Nullify Armored Effect
Lampos Shield Nullify Cavalry Effect
Chalice of Beginnings Nullify All Effects
Rafail Gem Nullify All Effects


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
    Hack-n-slash, RPG
  • Guide Release
    19 June 2022
  • Last Updated
    29 July 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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