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Not to be confused with the earlier weapon level stat.
|“||You want to know something? You need to give weapons to those who can wield them. Otherwise, it's just a waste of a perfectly good weapon.||”|
— Matthew, upon receiving an Armorslayer.
The weapon rank system (Japanese: 武器レベル weapon level; sometimes called "weapon levels") is a system of weapon access management and the successor of the earlier weapon level stat, first introduced in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and later fleshed out into its current form in Thracia 776. Wepaon ranks exist in two forms, as a singular stat associated with almost all weapons and as a collective of stats for each individual unit; weapon ranks denote a unit's proficiency in each weapon type, and the rank associated with an individual weapon denotes the minimum weapon rank in the matching weapon type required to use the weapon in question. Unlike the prior weapon level system, a unit has a different weapon rank for every weapon type to which they have access, all operating independently and thus preventing a unit from (in most cases) being equally proficient in all weapon types without extra effort.
Weapon ranks exist as a progressive scale of individual ranks denoted by letters, ranging from E to A (or sometimes S); in almost all games the lowest possible weapon rank is E, with weapons of this rank usable by any unit with access to the matching weapon type. Generally speaking, the higher a weapon's rank, the more powerful it is in exchange for greater weight, worth and lower durability. This progression is usually made evident in the naming scheme of weapons; for example, most physical weapon types come in a set of basic Bronze/Iron/Steel/Silver variants, while anima magic types possess a series of increasing prefixes (e.g. Fire/Elfire/Arcfire). Typically, the game's highest rank (normally A or S) is reserved for a set of powerful or holy weapons which are often central to the game's plot. Depending on the game, personal weapons are either separated from the core rank system or still have a rank while being locked to individual units.
In almost all uses of the system, weapon ranks can be increased by gaining weapon experience (abbreviated as WEx), with the unit's rank increasing by one after their weapon experience reaches a certain threshold. In this system, all weapons have an associated WEx value (hidden from the player's view), and when a unit uses that weapon they gain the weapon's amount of WEx every time they successfully use the weapon to strike an enemy or, in the case of most staves, to heal an ally. The exception to this system is Genealogy of the Holy War, where weapon ranks are almost entirely static and are dictated primarily by a unit's class, only ever increasing when the unit undergoes a class change; units who possess Holy Blood have their weapon ranks altered depending on what kind of blood they possess.
Weapon ranks by game
While for the most part the set of ranks is static across all games, each features its own variation on available ranks, with some treating A as the highest while others add the higher S or SS ranks.
|Weapon ranks by game|
|Game||Rank (Lowest → Highest)||Notes|
|Genealogy of the Holy War||Units who possess major Holy Blood have the respective weapon type marked with a ★; for more details, see here.|
|The Binding Blade||--|
|Blazing Sword||A unit may only possess a single S rank at a time; once a S rank is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A rank.|
|The Sacred Stones||A unit may only possess a single S rank at a time; once a S rank is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A rank.|
|Path of Radiance||A unit may only possess a single S rank at a time; once a S rank is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A rank.|
|Radiant Dawn||For classes with access to multiple weapon types, typically their maximum ranks are uneven with a single S or SS, while others are forced to be A or S at maximum.|
|New Mystery of the Emblem||--|
Weapon experience requirements by game
Upon gaining certain thresholds of weapon experience, a unit's weapon rank in the matching weapon type will increase. While this mechanic has remained constant ever since Thracia 776, the required WEx thresholds regularly change between games.
|Weapon experience requirements for rank increase by game|
|Game||Rank progression (total WEx)|
|Base E||E to D||D to C||C to B||B to A||A to S||S to SS|
|The Binding Blade||1||51||101||151||201||251||--|
|The Sacred Stones||1||31||71||121||181||251||--|
|Path of Radiance||1||31||71||121||181||251||--|
|New Mystery of the Emblem||1||31||76||136||196||--||--|
Weapon rank bonus
All games since Shadow Dragon have featured a weapon rank bonus, which further increases the unit's strength and/or accuracy with their chosen weapon type. The weapon rank bonus only takes effect when the unit's weapon rank for their current weapon type is C or higher. The bonuses received vary depending on the type of weapon equipped. If the unit has a weapon triangle disadvantage, the weapon rank bonus does not take effect.
|Weapon rank bonuses in Shadow Dragon|
|Weapon rank bonuses in New Mystery of the Emblem|
|Weapon rank bonuses in Awakening|
Blazing Sword and The Sacred Stones feature a rudimentary version of the weapon rank bonus, where a unit possessing an S rank in the currently-equipped weapon type receives +5 to hit and critical hit rates. This bonus is the same for all weapon types, and is not nullified by a weapon triangle disadvantage.
Items and skills affecting weapon ranks and WEx
|Items and skills affecting the stat|