Combat arts (Japanese: 戦技 war skills) are a special type of skill which was introduced in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. They are abilities whose effects revolve around temporarily enhancing combat performance, which are activated at the player's discretion by spending hit points in a similar way to black and white magic. Combat arts have a variety of effects: some augment their user's next attack with increased stats and/or special effects, while others temporarily increase their user's stats until their next turn.
The majority of combat arts are accessed through the weapons and equipment that a unit wields, and are learned by a unit through repeated use of the item.
Units learn combat arts from their items by gaining what is commonly referred to as skill points (SP). Every time a unit enters combat with a compatible weapon or piece of equipment, they earn a small amount of SP. Once the amount of SP required by the item is met, the unit unlocks the respective combat art for use. Combat arts are learned one at a time per weapon.
- For example: Gray has a Lightning Sword. He must earn 20SP with it to unlock its first combat art, Thunderclap, then another 20SP to unlock its second art, Foudroyant.
Both gained SP and learned combat arts is taught to the unit, not to the weapon, so they are not transferrable to any other unit. If any other unit is to use the art, they must earn the required SP themselves in the same way. On the other hand, once an item's art is learned or SP is gained, a unit does not have to use the exact same item that they earned it with in the first place; any other item that grants that combat art, or any other instance of the original item used, will give them immediate access to the same SP for the same combat art.
- For example: Alm has the Royal Sword. With the Royal Sword he has earned 42 of the 50SP needed to unlock Scendscale. When he equips Falchion, he has 42SP for Scendscale with it as well, and only needs to earn 8 more SP to unlock Scendscale for both the Royal Sword and Falchion.
SP and learned arts are not affected in any way by forging the weapon.
SP progress is tracked by a small white bar beneath the item's inventory icon, which measures the total SP needed to learn all of that item's combat arts. Once all of that item's combat arts have been unlocked, the bar is replaced by a small MAX label in the icon's corner.
To activate a combat art, the user must select it from the Arts menu when making their move. If the unit has sufficient HP remaining and (if applicable) there is a target within compatible range, the art can be used. Since combat arts require manual activation by their user, they can only be activated during the user's phase and (defensive arts aside) are not an option when counter-attacking.
When activated, offensive combat arts add their special effects to the regular attacking power and stats of their user. The majority of offensive arts add increases to the user's pre-existing might, hit rate, critical hit rate, and range, while some have entirely unique effects beyond this. If a unit would double-attack their target with their regular attack, activating an offensive combat art completely prevents them from doing so and forces them to make only one hit (with the exception of combat arts whose effect includes a second strike or more, such as Double Lion).
List of combat arts
The following combat arts are offensive combat arts learned from weapons. They last for the duration of the round of attack in which they are activated.
These combat arts are defensive. When activated, their effects last until the beginning of the unit's next phase.
These combat arts are special commands that move units short distances across the map when used.
These combat arts are offensive, but they are not learned by weapons. Instead, they are possessed by individual units by default, mostly enemies.
The following combat art summons other units, and obtained by Alm and Celica via accessing the amiibo menu for the first time.