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SP or skill points is a stat that allows units to learn skills as they become more proficient in combat. SP first appeared in the spin-off title Fire Emblem Heroes, before making their debut in the main Fire Emblem series in Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Note that it is never actually referred to as SP in Shadows of Valentia and that is a fan title used to link it with the unrelated Heroes mechanic.
SP in Heroes act as a personal currency a character earns upon defeating enemies and levelling up. SP gains can be boosted during certain events in the game, as well as the use of a Valor skill. When a character gains enough SP to learn a skill within their allotted rarity, they can choose to learn that skill; for example, if the player wins a Felicia via a Normal-difficulty Hero Battle (and thus begins at 1★), raises her up to 3★ without learning any skills along the way, and banks 100 SP for her, the player can choose to get her a Steel Dagger weapon skill for 100 SP, a Chilling Wind special skill for 100 SP, a Resistance +1 type-A passive skill for 30 SP, a Breath of Life 1 type-C passive skill for 50 SP, or save that SP for later on. In the case of purchasing Resistance +1 in the previous example, immediately upgrading Felicia to 4★ afterward will then allow the player to upgrade it to Resistance +2 for 60 of the remaining 70 SP.
SP requirements for skill sets vary depending on the skill type and individual skill trees.
- Most non-staff weapon skill trees start their wielder off with an Iron-tier skill (although the Iron-tier skills invariably have a 50 SP cost attached to them in the event a unit were to be summoned without one), then upgrade to the Steel-tier for 100 SP. The third-tier weapon skill usually follows at 200 SP, although some exceptions do exist; Arthur, for example, would get his Emerald Axe at this point for that cost. Fourth-tier non-personal/regalia weapon skills will wrap up the tree at the usual cost of 300 SP, although again some exceptions do exist, with Arthur in the previous example getting his Emerald Axe+ at this level at that cost; personal and regalia weapon skills will typically command a premium amount of 400 SP, an example being Reinhardt's Dire Thunder. Staves follow a different tree in relation to other weapon skills, with the first-tier skill costing 50 SP, then the second-tier skill costing 150 SP, and finally the third-tier skill costing 300 SP; for example, Wrys can learn Assault with 50 SP, Slow with 150 SP, and Slow+ with 300 SP. As the only personal staff skill to date, Thökk, is locked to an enemy, it is currently unknown how a personal or regalia staff skill would interact with the staff skill tree mechanics apart from costing 400 SP. In any event, subjecting a highest-tier weapon skill to the Weapon Refinery requires another 350 SP for non-personal/regalia or another 400 SP for personal/regalia, in addition to refining costs in the form of Arena Medals, Refining Stones, and Divine Dew.
- Assist skill trees vary depending on whether or not it's used in conjunction with a staff. Non-staff assist skills typically cost 150 SP and come as a single entity; for example, Donnel would need 150 SP to learn Reciprocal Aid and he would be good to go for the rest of the game in the assist category. In the event a second-tier does exist to a non-staff assist skill tree, which to date consists only of combination rally skills and a personal assist skill of Micaiah's, that second tier typically costs 300 SP, although Micaiah's personal second-tier assist commands a premium cost of 400 SP; for example, Rhajat would need 300 SP to learn Rally Atk/Def as an upgrade to her innate Rally Defense. Assist skills used in conjunction with a staff again work differently, and tree themselves in a similar fashion to weapon skills; staff wielders typically start with a first-tier skill, to date the only one being Heal (which, in turn, is the only implemented skill to date whose inherent SP figure remains unknown), with further tiers having costs similar to that of weapon skills; for example, Clarine begins with Heal, then can upgrade to Reconcile for 100 SP, Martyr for 200 SP, and Martyr+ for 300 SP.
- Special skill trees have greater variance in SP costs than weapon and assist skill trees do. Learners of Imbue (i.e. staff users) can do so for the least SP of any special skill at 50 SP, and that is typically followed by a second special skill; if the second special skill of an Imbue user is another staff-specific skill, that skill will typically cost 150 SP (for example Lissa learning Kindled-Fire Balm), but a premium is paid in the event the second special skill of an Imbue user is not staff-specific (Lucius, for example, needs 200 SP to learn Miracle, a skill that can be learned by a number of non-staff-users as their only available special skill). Most other special skill trees run 100 SP for the first skill of a tree and 200 SP for the second, and those that have a third-tier skill available need 500 SP on top of that, the most of any skill; for example, Lyn can skip paying for Night Sky as she innately comes with it as a 5★ exclusive (it would have cost her 100 SP were she available at and obtained at 3★), but needs 200 SP to learn Astra and 500 SP from there to learn Galeforce. The Rising family of skills command a premium over other special skill trees, needing 150 for the Rising tier and 300 for the Growing/Blazing tier; for example, Ursula would need 150 SP to learn Rising Thunder and 300 SP to learn Blazing Thunder.
- Passive skill trees have by far the most variance in their overall SP costs, but as a general rule for non-branched trees, the first tier of a multiple-tier tree costs anywhere from 30 to 60 SP depending on the skill tree (always in increments of 10), the second-tier costs double that of the first-tier, while the third-tier costs double that of the second-tier; for example, Celica would need 50 SP to learn Spur Def 1, 100 more SP to learn Spur Def 2, and 200 more SP to learn Spur Def 3. True standalone passive skills are typically more expensive than skills that are part of a tree, but have been known to command prices between 100 and 300 SP; the spring variation of Camilla commands a 100 SP figure for Live for Bounty, while Sigurd commands a 300 SP figure for Crusader's Ward. Branched skill trees often inflate the costs for the successive tiers to what they would be had the first tier cost 10 SP higher, but don't always do this:
- For an example where the branch happens at tier two, the summer variation of Frederick does not need to pay a premium for Seal Atk/Spd 1 over Seal Atk 1, as the latter would cost him 40 SP and the former would cost him 80 SP, with Seal Atk/Speed 2 costing 160 SP from there; on the other hand, Seth would pay a premium for Seal Atk/Def 1 over Seal Atk 1 with the latter still costing 40 SP but the former in this case costing 100 SP, and Seal Atk/Def 2 would cost 200 SP on top of that.
- For am example where the branch happens at tier three, Ninian does not need to pay a premium for Fortify Dragons over Fortify Def 1 and 2, as she would be paying 50 SP and then 100 SP for the two Fortify Def skills and then 200 SP for Fortify Dragons; on the other hand, the brave variation of Ike would need to pay a premium for Steady Breath over Steady Stance 1 and 2, as he would be paying 50 SP and then 100 SP for the two Steady Stance skills but Steady Breath requires 240 SP.
In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
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SP in Echoes: Shadows of Valentia allows players to unlock skills in the combat arts category by gaining proficiency with a weapon or item that is tied to that skill; in this instance, SP acts as an analog to weapon experience in other games of the main Fire Emblem series. A unit gains 1 SP for each round of combat they wield a particular weapon/item, and unlocks skills when they reach a certain threshold along the course of gaining experience. For example, Valbar wielding an Emperor Lance will first learn Subdue upon reaching 5 SP with that weapon, then Shove with 10 SP, and finally Leonine Poise with 25 SP.
SP is tied to the combination of a unit and skill and only carries over when two weapons/items are tied to the same combat art. For example, if Valbar unequips the Emperor Lance and takes up a new weapon or item with a different skill set, he would have to gain a new set of SP to learn those skills—if he were to equip the Rhomphaia, he would need 15 new SP to learn Armorcrush, another 15 new SP to learn Knightkneeler, and another 20 new SP to learn Dragonhaze, with none of the SP from his time with the Emperor Lance carrying over; on the other hand, if Valbar were to be given an Iron Shield, the SP linked to Shove will carry over from the Emperor Lance and thus he would not need any additional SP to learn Shove with the Iron Shield. The requirement of learning a new set of SP also works with the same weapon but a different wielder; for example, if Catria were to take up that Emperor Lance, she would have to start from scratch as far as at least Subdue and Leonine Poise are concerned, although she could still carry over SP from an Iron Shield as far as Shove is concerned.