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Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

How to Deplete the Stun Gauge and Trigger Critical Rushes

By
Nathan Garvin

Information about the Stun Gauge and Critical Rushes in Fire Emblem Three Hopes, including how to trigger and deplete the Stun Gauge and how to execute Critical Rushes.

What Are the Stun Gauge and Critical Rushes in Fire Emblem Three Hopes?

While you can get through the game just fine by playing it like a normal musou game, chaining together Joy-Con-ButtonY and Joy-Con-ButtonX button combos - perhaps with the odd Joy-Con-ButtonA button when your Warrior Gauge is charged and you’re ready to unleash a Warrior Special, that’s not always the most optimal way of besting your foes. Despite being a musou game, Fire Emblem Three Hopes still has Fire Emblem blood coursing through its metaphorical veins, and that means some strategic elements have been added to the combo-spamming goodness we all know and love. Different types of weapons (or rather, different classes thanks to the innate “Buster” Class Abilities each class has) have advantage over other types of weapons/classes, and advantage can be added or intensified (there are up to five tiers of advantages/disadvantage), or disadvantaged mitigated, by using specific weapons, Combat Arts and Magics, or by equipping various Class Abilities and Accessories. Check out the page Battle Advantages and Disadvantages for more details.

(1 of 4) Combat Arts and Magic will expose the Stun Gauge.

Without going too far afield regarding advantage, when units with advantage attack disadvantaged units they’ll knock them back more easily, interrupting their attacks, keeping them off balance and exposing their Stun Gauge. When an enemy’s guard is broken their Stun Gauge (represented by a shield icon with numerous segments) will appear, and further attacks will empty the enemy’s Stun Gauge segment by segment. An enemy’s Stun Gauge is only exposed for a brief period of time, but if you manage to deplete it they’ll become vulnerable to a Critical Rush - an incredibly powerful coup de grace attack that you can execute simply by pressing the Joy-Con-ButtonX button near a downtrodden foe.

The greater your advantage, the easier it is to expose the Stun Gauge and the faster it depletes. Various Class Abilities can also influence how easy it is to expose the Stun Gauge, causing it to appear in more varied circumstances, extending the duration that the Stun Gauge remains visible, and increasing the rate at which your attacks deplete the enemy’s Stun Gauge.

In addition, an enemy’s Stun Gauge will always become visible when they’re performing a Combat Art or Magic attack, although there’s a fair amount of risk versus reward, as attacking them while they’re exposed like this also make it more likely that you’ll be caught in the enemy’s aforementioned Combat Art or Magic. Using your own Combat Arts or Magic on an enemy will also cause their Stun Gauge to be exposed, and finding a Combat Art or Magic that combos well into one of a character’s attack combos is key to taking advantage of Critical Rushes. Shez, for example, can chain the Firesweep Combat Art and her Joy-Con-ButtonYJoy-Con-ButtonYJoy-Con-ButtonYJoy-Con-ButtonYJoy-Con-ButtonX combo (as a Fluegal or Asura) can keep foes juggled nearly indefinitely.

What Combat Arts and Class Abilities Affect the Stun Gauge and Critical Rushes?

Below you’ll find a list of Unique Abilities, Class Abilities and Combat Arts which modify how the Stun Gauge and Critical Rushes function:

Fists of Justice - Caspar Support Ability

Icon Ability Description
threehopes Fists of Justice Lv 1 Slightly increases damage to enemy Stun Gauges.
threehopes Fists of Justice Lv 2 Moderately increases damage to enemy Stun Gauges.
threehopes Fists of Justice Lv 3 Greatly increases damage to enemy Stun Gauges.

King’s Might - Dimitri Support Ability

Icon Ability Description
threehopes King’s Might Lv 1 Slightly increases damage to enemy HP and Stun Gauges when sending them flying.
threehopes King’s Might Lv 2 Moderately increases damage to enemy HP and Stun Gauges when sending them flying.
threehopes King’s Might Lv 3 Greatly increases damage to enemy HP and Stun Gauges when sending them flying.

Natural Warrior - Holst Support Ability

Icon Ability Description
threehopes Natural Warrior Lv 1 When HP is at 50% or below: increases damage to enemy Stun Gauges.
threehopes Natural Warrior Lv 2 When HP is at 50% or below: greatly increases damage dealt to enemy Stun Gauges.
threehopes Natural Warrior Lv 3 When HP is at 50% or below: massively increases damage dealt to enemy Stun Gauges.

Perceptive Gaze - Hubert Support Ability

Icon Ability Description
threehopes Perception Lv 1 Keeps the Stun Gauge visible slightly longer.
threehopes Perception Lv 2 Keeps the Stun Gauge visible a while longer.
threehopes Perception Lv 3 Keeps the Stun Gauge visible much longer.

Brawler’s Wisdom - Brawler Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
1-star threehopes Brawler’s Wisdom Increases damage to enemy Stun Gauges when using the class actions of Brawlers, Grapplers, and War Masters.

Dual Devastators - Brawler Combat Art

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
1-star threehopes Dual Devastators Pummel the enemy with both fists. Deals damage to enemy Stun Gauges.

Death Blow - Brigand Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
1-star threehopes Death Blow Keeps the Stun Gauge visible for longer.

Warrior’s Wisdom - Brigand Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
3-star threehopes Warrior’s Wisdom Gives Brigand and Warrior class actions a chance to produce the Stun Gauge. The more bars in the Class Gauge, the better the chance.

Mortal Struggle - Swordmaster Combat Art

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
2-star threehopes Mortal Struggle Sacrifice Prt, reducing the user’s defense, to make the Stun Gauge display with all attacks.

Patience - Trickster Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
3-star threehopes Patience Hitting an enemy while they are readying an attack greatly increases damage to the Stun Gauge.

Battalion Wrath - Warrior Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
3-star threehopes Battalion Wrath When battalion endurance is at 1/3 or below: greatly increases damage dealt by critical rushes.

Heavy Hitter - Warrior Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
1-star threehopes Heavy Hitter Gives strong attacks a low chance to produce the Stun Gauge.

Wrath - Warrior Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
3-star threehopes Wrath When HP is at 50% or below: greatly increases damage dealt by critical rushes.

Defiant Crit - Wyvern Lord Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
3-star threehopes Defiant Crit When HP is at 25% or below: drastically increases damage dealt by critical rushes.

Wyvern Rider’s Wisdom - Wyvern Rider Class Ability

Rank Icon Ability/Art Description
2-star threehopes Wyvern Rider’s Wisdom Increases damage to enemy Stun Gauges when using the class actions of axe-wielding fliers.

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Guide Information

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

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