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Weapon triangle

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Ss fe11 weapon triangle diagram.png
Weapons possess a unique hierarchy:
Swords best axes.
Axes best lances.
Lances best swords.
This is called the weapon triangle.

— Weapon triangle guide in Shadow Dragon.

Weapons in the Fire Emblem series have been arranged into a few different categories. In earlier games, such as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, there are three basic weapons: swords, axes, and lances. This also introduces the way weapons work. Each weapon has a strength and weakness in the triangle.

The weapon triangle, as the game refers to it (first in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War), is in a "rock-paper-scissors" format. Swords are more effective against axes but less effective against lances, lances are more effective against swords but less effective against axes, and axes are effective against lances but less effective against swords.

However, a character with a sword can still defeat an enemy with a lance, and the same holds for the other weapons. Not to mention, there are weapons that reverse the triangle such as a Lancereaver (a type of sword).

Although the weapon triangle does affect damage, it does not necessarily determine the outcome of a battle. It merely determines the strength of the weapon and the chance the unit can hit his or her opponent.

The weapon triangle has been reorganized slightly in Fire Emblem Fates, to encompass almost all available weapon types: Swords and tomes are effective against axes and Bows, axes and bows are effective against lances and daggers, and lances and daggers are effective against swords and magic.[1]

For the first time since Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, the weapon triangle did not reappear in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.

Etymology and other languages

Names, etymology and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology and notes
English Weapon triangle --
Spanish Triángulo de las armes Triangle of the weapons
French Triangle des armes Triangle of the weapons
German Waffen-Dreieck Weapon triangle
Italian Triangolo delle armi Triangle of the weapons


  1. "To begin with–and probably the biggest surprise: apparently the weapon triangle has been revised. Part of this could already be observed (in multiple screenshots, swords were strong against bows), but here’s the rest. Sword and Magic > Axe and Bow > Lance and Hidden Weapon > Sword and Magic" — VincentASM, Fire Emblem if 21st May Famitsu leak: Weapon Triangle Revamped, Serenes Forest, Published: 19 May 2015, Retrieved: 19 May 2015

See also

Game mechanics
Out-of-battle management Base (Base conversation) • Battle preparationsBonus experienceDungeonsGameplay modes (Creature Campaign) • GoldMila ShrinesRenownShopping (ArmoryBargainsForgeMerchantOnline shopSecret shopVendor) • Supply convoyWorld map
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Stats Units ActionAffinityAuthorityBiorhythmClassConstitution (Aid) • DefenseExperienceGrowth rateHit pointHoly BloodInventoryLevelLuckMagicMovementPursuit critical coefficientResistanceSkillSpeedStrengthWeapon levelWeight
Weapons Brave weaponCritDurabilityHitKill bonusMightPersonal weaponsRangeWeapon experienceWeapon levelWeightWorth
Unit mechanics
and commands
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Calculations Attack speedAvoidCritical hit (Combination bonusDodgeTriangle Attack) • Bonus damageHit rate (True hit) • Random number generatorWeapon triangle (Trinity of magic)
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