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Weapon rank

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Not to be confused with the earlier weapon level stat.


Highlighted: Lachesis's weapon ranks as a Master Knight. By the standards of Genealogy of the Holy War, she has the maximum normal rank for most weapon types, the lowest for light magic, and is unable to use dark magic.
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.

Overview

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
E SS
Genealogy of the Holy War X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png Units who possess major Holy Blood have the respective weapon type marked with a ★; for more details, see here.
Thracia 776 Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
The Binding Blade Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png --
Blazing Sword Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png 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 Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png 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 Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png 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 Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png 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.
Shadow Dragon Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
New Mystery of the Emblem Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Awakening Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Fates Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png --

Weapon experience requirements by game

Main article: Weapon experience

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
Thracia 776 50 100 150 200 250 -- --
The Binding Blade 1 51 101 151 201 251 --
Blazing Sword 1 31 71 121 181 251 --
The Sacred Stones 1 31 71 121 181 251 --
Path of Radiance 1 31 71 121 181 251 --
Radiant Dawn 1 31 71 121 181 251 331
Shadow Dragon 1 31 76 136 196 -- --
New Mystery of the Emblem 1 31 76 136 196 -- --
Awakening 1 31 71 121 181 -- --

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[1]
Weapon C rank B rank A rank
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Hit +15
Weapon rank bonuses in New Mystery of the Emblem[2]
Weapon C rank B rank A rank
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Hit +15
Staff Heal +1 Heal +2 Heal +3
Weapon rank bonuses in Awakening[3]
Weapon C rank B rank A rank
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Attack +1, Hit +10
Staff Heal +1 Heal +2 Heal +3

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
Item Effect Games
Is 3ds01 arms scroll.png Arms Scroll Permanently increases all weapon ranks/the rank matching the user's current equipped weapon by one rank each when used. Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, Shadow Dragon, New Mystery of the Emblem, Awakening, Fates
Is 3ds discipline.png Discipline Doubles the user's weapon experience gain when equipped. Radiant Dawn, Awakening

Trivia

Gallery

See also

References

  1. Shadow Dragon - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: 2013-07-31
  2. Heroes of Light and Shadow - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: 2013-07-31
  3. Awakening - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: 2013-07-31
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