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Staggering Blows (Japanese: 猛撃 Ferocious Blow) are a special kind of attack introduced in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. They are powerful area-of-effect attacks that are exclusively used by enemy monster units. These attacks are very large and typically have high raw might, though they are offset by the fact that a monster must prepare to use them beforehand. On top of their high power and wide range, they also typically have other secondary effects, ranging from lowering stats to changing the terrain briefly.
Staggering Blows are almost entirely physical attacks which use the user's strength and target the foe's defense stat. The most notable exceptions are Rapids and Gale, which are magical attacks used by only a few unique monsters. All Staggering Blows have an area of effect—usually spreading out from the space in front of the monster—and can damage multiple units at once. They are not limited to damaging player units; if there are other units of the same affiliation as the user within range of a Staggering Blow, they will be affected by them as well.
Each Staggering Blow has its own might, hit, and range stats. The damage dealt by a Staggering Blow scales like most weapon types, being boosted by the user's strength or magic, and reduced by the target's defense or resistance. Staggering Blows can never be counter-attacked in any way, though Staggering Blows themselves can also never double attack. Unlike the similar area-of-effect Gambits, Staggering Blows hit their targets independently; a single Staggering Blow may hit hit some targets while missing others. Staggering Blows can additionally kill multiple units at once.
Before a monster can use a Staggering Blow, they must prepare to do so first; this is typically indicated by the monster unit roaring. When a monster is preparing a Staggering Blow, hovering over the monster will display the attack's intended area-of-effect. A monster must stay in place for one phase for the Staggering Blow to be unleashed; if there are no longer any targets in range when the monster's phase comes along, the monster will stop preparing it, and instead move to the nearest target to use a regular attack. If a monster unleashes its Staggering Blow, or it prepares it and does not use a regular attack in the next turn, all of the monster's barriers will be refreshed, unless the monster has previously suffered an armor break.
Staggering Blows in the Fire Emblem series
|Thorns of Ruin||Inflicts -5 speed debuff on targets on contact.|
|Heavy Strike||Inflicts rattled status on targets on contact.|
|Poison Breath||Inflicts poison status on targets on contact.|
|Flame Breath||Inflicts -5 defense debuff on targets on contact.|
|Brimstone Breath||Inflicts -5 defense debuff on targets on contact.|
|Arm Press||Inflicts -5 speed debuff on targets on contact.|
|Annihilation||Magic attack. Inflicts -5 resistance debuff on targets on contact.|
|Light-Lance Barrage||Magic attack. Inflicts -5 resistance debuff on targets on contact.|
|Titanomachy||Inflicts -5 speed debuff on targets on contact.|
|Light Breath||Magic attack. Inflicts -5 strength debuff on targets on contact.|
|Aurora Breath||Inflicts rattled status on targets on contact. Does not affect units of the same affiliation as the user.|
|Hoarfrost||Range: 1-8. Ignores enemy defense. Heals units of the same affiliation as the user.|
|Gale||Magic attack. Inflicts rattled status on targets on contact.|
|Rapids||Magic attack. Inflicts rattled status on targets on contact.|
|Sky Fissure||Inflicts frozen status on targets on contact.|
|Sandstorm||Inflicts frozen status on targets on contact.|
|Cyclone||Inflicts frozen status on targets on contact.|
|Wilted Flower||Range: 1-6. Ignores enemy defense. Inflicts rattled status on targets on contact.|
|A means that the weapon is available in that game, while a indicates the contrary.|
Etymology and other languages
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|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|French||Attaque furieuse||Furious attack|
|Gambits and Staggering Blows|