Free-to-Play guide

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This guide is for anyone that wants to get the most out of Fire Emblem Heroes, but isn't willing to spend much (or any) money on the game. Luckily, this game is very generous to free-to-players, with a significant amount of premium currency and heroes available through its single player campaign. So while you may not be able to compete at the highest levels of the Arena, almost everything else in the game will be accessible given enough time.

To clarify this guide is partially an extension to the Beginners Guide, meaning it assumes players do not have access to any previous rewards or resources available to veteran players.

Is Free Play viable?[edit | edit source]

While some Free-to-Play games are nearly impossible to enjoy without paying money, Fire Emblem Heroes is not one of them. A free player can easily gain well over 300 free orbs per month[1]. As a comparison, if you paid $75 for orbs, you would only get 140.

Additionally, because your team is limited to only four characters, you don’t necessarily need a huge roster of super powerful characters to be successful. Moreover, by using color advantages and abusing the easily exploited AI, good strategy can allow a free player to even compete in the PvP Arena.

The Free-to-Play Grind and Strategies[edit | edit source]

There are 2 main currencies in Fire Emblem Heroes that will help players accessing new game content as well as new kinds of game play — namely, Orbs and Hero Feathers. Other currencies are Sacred Coins, Arena Medals, Refining Stones,  Divine Dew, Aether Stones,  Heavenly Dew, crystals and badges. The latter currencies are also useful for player progression. However they tend to accumulate simultaneously as the player grind for Orbs and Feathers without further effort.

Both Orbs and Feathers can be purchased or obtained through in-game content. Although the only way feathers can be redeemed with real-world currencies is through summoning and sending heroes home. Orbs are used to summon new Heroes. For a "collectible card game", orbs are thus the main currency to unlock new game content. Feathers are used to increase "rarity" of heroes, which increases their stats and is useful for merging and skill inheritance — all of which increase the ability of a player's roster and ultimately helps players access more gameplay content. Arena Medals, Refining Stones, and Divine Dew are used for upgrading weapons into better versions or adding additional/other perks to the original. Aether Stones and Heavenly Dew are used to create and level up Structures.

Orbs[edit | edit source]

Usage[edit | edit source]

Orbs are primarily used to summon new heroes. The most efficient strategy is to pull only on stones of a focus units color. When any 5★ hero is pulled, it is advisable to pull all the other stones as the pity rate for pulling higher rarity heroes returns to zero after pulling a 5★ hero.

It takes on average 140-160 orbs to summon a specific 5★ hero shown on a banner[2]. To obtain 11 copies of a specific focus unit requires 1500-1800 orbs on average. Remember that there is no guarantee that any amount of orbs will be enough, as pulling is all based on chance.

Additional uses for orbs include expanding Barracks, upgrading the Castle and replenishing items like Stamina Potions, Dueling Crests, or Light's Blessings. Upgrading Castle requires relatively little orb investment while expediting the grind on hero levels. The expansion of Barracks may become necessary as the player progresses, however careful planning can reduce the need to continuously expand the barracks. It is ill-advised to use orbs in place of Stamina Potions, Dueling Crests, or Light's Blessings as they can be easily replenished.

Sources[edit | edit source]

If you are starting the game, the largest source of orbs is found simply in Story mode. Playing through all the main story maps and paralogues on all three difficulties, as well as the lunatic difficulties of Chain Challenge and Squad Assault gives you a total of around 740 orbs. However the latter two modes are quite challenging without a decent selection of strong units.

Otherwise, there are four main ways to get as many free orbs as possible:

  • Daily Login Bonuses: Simply by logging in each day will give you 1-5 free orbs. Surprisingly this is the second largest source of free orbs after completing quests, and requires almost no effort.
  • Events: Tempest Trials+ provides the most orbs of the four events currently running.
  • Arena: A steady drip feed of about 4 orbs a week. Nothing exciting but it does equate to a free pull every week.
  • Quests: Most quests direct you to play new Story Maps, Arena, Special Maps, or Events, so it is possible to complete quest objectives by accident. Nevertheless, avoid putting them off as once they leave they take their orbs with them.

Based on the average of the past 6 months you can collect up to 344 Orbs per month (or 80 orbs a week).

Hero Feathers[edit | edit source]

Usage[edit | edit source]

 Hero Feathers are used to unlock potential, increasing the rarity of a hero by one. The amount of feathers required depends on the rarity of the hero, as shown in the table below:

Rarity Next Rarity Feathers Required Badges Required Badge Type
1★ 2★ 20 Feathers 5 Badge
2★ 3★ 200 Feathers 10 Badge
3★ 4★ 2,000 Feathers 20 Badge
4★ 5★ 20,000 Feathers 20 Great Badge

Due to the high cost of promoting heroes to 5★ unlocking potential should be carefully planned, and should only be for 3 purposes (from most to least important):

  1. Intent to use the hero to fulfill or provide backup to a specific niche for use in more challenging content such as Arena Assault.
  2. Intent to use skill inheritance on a 5★ exclusive weapon, special, or skill to a hero that requires that skill to perform its role.
  3. Intent to merge the 5★ hero as part of their core' team.

A core team is equivalent to the lead team in Arena Assault. Merging is required to earn a higher score in Arena Assault, however it is more important to have enough strong units to defeat all seven teams. Merging should only come once all the specific unit niches have been fulfilled, hence why it is rated as the least important purpose of unlocking potential. Before promoting a hero to 5★ to use their skill, check if the skill can be inherited from a 4★ hero.

Sources[edit | edit source]

There are two main sources of feathers:

  • Events: In particular, Tempest Trials+ gives you around 10,000 to 21,000 feathers depending on how you rank among other players. Voting Gauntlet only provides 3,000 to 10,000 feathers but this is still a decent sum.
  • Arena: Every week you can get around 4,000 to 9,000 feathers
  • Arena Assault: This mode gets you around 500 to 5,000 feathers per week

A decent amount of feathers can be collected by going through daily arena matches, weekly Rival Domains, and Blessed Gardens. Other methods to collect feathers (e.g. Grinding Hero Merit, lower difficulty Chain Challenges) is not worth the effort put into it unless you really need are in extreme need of feathers.

All in all, the influx of feathers is about 10,000 feathers to 30,000 feathers weekly. A player hovering around Tier 18 with only one decent team and performs average at events should expect ~17k feathers a week[3].

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Usage[edit | edit source]

Heroes, or units, make up your teams and barracks that fight for your cause. While there are many different ways to use a hero, similar to the usage of feathers if you want to optimize your heroes then they should be in one of three roles.

  1. Intent to use the hero as part of the core team.
  2. Intent to use the hero to counter a specific set of enemy unit types (or even one particularly annoying hero).
  3. Intent to use the hero for Skill Inheritance, immediately or for future use

Figuring out which hero belongs in which category is impossible as new heroes come out and Weapon Refinery improves previously released heroes. New builds can cause a shift in unit types, prompting a need to build a specific hero to cover this new build. A hero that used to be part of a core team can find themselves used for Skill Inheritance depending as the game evolves. Since heroes are the backbone of the entire game, experimenting with and trying new ideas is key to enjoying FEH. Don't be afraid to play favorites as every hero can be strong with enough time and investment into them.

Sources[edit | edit source]

While Heroes mainly come from summoning sessions they can also be collected through events, quests, and completing special maps. Given the rate at which new banners are released, you can redeem around 2 free heroes every week.

Spending 80 orbs on banners along with free pulls provides around 22 heroes a week. Assuming the typical 3% pity rate this means you will collect a 5★ hero every week (Or if are an unlucky one that need the 90th percentile, every 3 ½ weeks). However, it is advised to concentrate orbs on specific banners for heroes that compliment the core team.

Heroes can also be summoned using Heroic Grails, as explained in the next section.

Heroic Grails[edit | edit source]

 Heroic Grails are a resource that can be exchanged for Heroes that have been rewarded through past Grand Hero Battles and Tempest Trials events.

Usage[edit | edit source]

The following heroes can be summoned by spending Heroic Grails:

Laegjarn New Experiences Face FC.png Cecilia Festive Instructor Face FC.png Gharnef Dark Pontifex Face FC.png Azura Young Songstress Face FC.png Aversa Dark One Face FC.png
Dorcas Pumpkin Smasher Face FC.png Garon King of Nohr Face FC.png Ethlyn Spirited Princess Face FC.png Jamke Prince of Verdane Face FC.png Walhart The Conqueror Face FC.png
Canas Wisdom Seeker Face FC.png Linus Mad Dog Face FC.png Marth Altean Groom Face FC.png Julius Scion of Darkness Face FC.png Kana Dragon Spawn Face FC.png
Finn Lance of Legend Face FC.png Saias Bishop of Flame Face FC.png Gerome Masked Rider Face FC.png Takumi Empty Vessel Face FC.png Eliwood Devoted Love Face FC.png
Marisa Crimson Flash Face FC.png Lyon Shadow Prince Face FC.png Corrin Enjoying Tradition Face FC.png Oliver Admirer of Beauty Face FC.png Joshua Tempest King Face FC.png
Arden Strong and Tough Face FC.png Arvis Emperor of Flame Face FC.png Black Knight Sinister General Face FC.png Valter Dark Moonstone Face FC.png Clive Idealistic Knight Face FC.png
Tobin The Clueless One Face FC.png Berkut Prideful Prince Face FC.png Clarisse Sniper in the Dark Face FC.png Legion Masked Maniac Face FC.png Marth Enigmatic Blade Face FC.png
Camus Sable Knight Face FC.png Lloyd White Wolf Face FC.png Xander Paragon Knight Face FC.png Zephiel The Liberator Face FC.png Navarre Scarlet Sword Face FC.png
Michalis Ambitious King Face FC.png Ursula Blue Crow Face FC.png Robin Mystery Tactician Face FC.png Narcian Wyvern General Face FC.png

These heroes can be used for:

  1. Inheriting rare or otherwise hard to obtain skills to other units
  2. Fulfilling a specific niche
  3. Merging units with the intention of using them in a core team

Sources[edit | edit source]

Simply accessing the Use Heroic Grails Menu will provide you with 200 Grails, allowing you to summon two of the units in the list above. So far, the only way to obtain Heroic Grails is by participating in Aether Raids, which can net up to 90 Grails a week (When starting out, 40 Grails should be expected).

Other resources[edit | edit source]

Events such as Tempest Trials+ and Grand Conquests provide many resources to use. Other than events, it is important to go through both Arena and Arena Assault every single week to gather specific resources that are usually not found in other game modes (e.g. Sacred Coins and Arena Medals).

Summary Table of Resources[edit | edit source]

Summary of rewards obtained through persistent content.

Content Reward Type Rewards
Special Training Maps One Time (Rotating) 25 Orbs
5 Blessings
Grand Hero Battle Revival One Time (Rotating) [From Maps]
28,000 Feathers
42 GHB Heroes (3 copies of 14 different limited heroes)

[From Quests]
84 Orbs
14 GHB Heros (1 copy of 14 different limited heros)
14 Blessings
Hero Battle One Time (Rotating) 24 Heroes (2 copies of 12 different heroes)
Chain Challenge One Time, Per Challenge (~Monthly) ~8 Orbs
~2,400 Feathers

Squad Assault One Time, Per Assault (~Monthly) 2 Orbs
1 Sacred Seal

Blessed Gardens One Time, Per Map (Weekly) 1 Blessing
Cycled between:
5 Orbs
2,000 Feathers
20 Divine dew
Rival Domains Weekly Easy: 1 Orb
Normal: 1,000 shards
Hard: 1,000 crystals
Lunatic: 500 Feathers
Infernal: 10 Divine Dew
Arena Weekly [based on rank]
1-5 Orbs
3700-9400 Feathers
20 Sacred Coins
20 Refining Stones
100 Arena Medals
Arena Assault Weekly [based on rank]
500-5000 Feathers
10-30 Sacred Coins
10-30 Refining Stones

[Per Run]
1-3 Arena Assault Items

Summary of rewards obtained through temporary content.

Content Time Frame Rewards
Special Maps 4-14 days Mainly Orbs, Sometimes Heroes
Tap Battle ~14 days 10 Orbs
500 Arena Medals
5,000 Universal Shard
Voting Gauntlet
6 days 10 Orbs
3,000-12,000 Feathers
10,000 Universal Crystals
Grand Conquest
6 days 14 Orbs
9,900-15,600 Feathers
630-1,200 Arena Medals
30 Sacred Coins
30 Refining Stones
800 Badges
400 Great Badges

Additional Misc. Rewards by tapping “Help Out” every 2 hours
Tempest Trials+
(~less than a month)
10 days 42 Orbs
11,500-21,000 Feathers
80 Sacred Coin
18,900 Shards
35,000 Universal Crystal
2 Heros (Limited)
1 Blessing

Summary of rewards, collection rate and consumption rate.

Type of Resource How to obtain Average amount gained Consumption
Heroes Summoning Sessions 2 per week
22 per week if free orbs are spent every week
Varies by person
 Orb Daily Logins 79 orbs per week 5 orbs=1 hero
140 - 160 orbs for 1 focus hero
 Hero Feather Arena, Arena Assault, Events 11,682 feathers to 27,451 feathers weekly (17000 average) 20000 per hero upgraded
 Stamina Potion Quests 6 per day Varies by person
 Dueling Crest Quests 4 per week Varies by person
 Light's Blessing Quests few per week Varies by person
 Sacred Coin Arena, Arena Assault 90 a week 150-200 coins per full seal
 Refining Stone Arena 65 stones per week 50 stones per upgrade
Blessings Blessed Gardens 2.6 per week Typical usage between 14-48
Arena Assault Items Arena Assault 3 per week Varies by person
Badges Training Tower 400+fifth stratum grind 20 for unlocking potential
1300 per full seal
Great Badges Quests 150+Tenth Stratum grind 20 for unlocking potential
480 per full seal
Shards Training Tower > 10000 a month 5108 to level 20
Crystals Training Tower > 10000 a month 35019 to level 40

Building an effective team[edit | edit source]

Regardless of if you are a Free-to-Player or not, you will want to build an effective core team for completing story missions and competing in the Arena. Note that while you can adjust your team composition to suit the maps in Story Mode, any well balanced team should be able to complete all of the single player content even on Lunatic difficulties. A well balanced team is also helpful in arena, because you don’t have prior knowledge of what unit types your opponent will bring. This section will give you tips on building a strong team.

Tips on building effective emblem teams are covered in the next section.

Build around your best heroes[edit | edit source]

The most important tip is simply to focus on building around your best heroes and choose characters that cover their weaknesses. If you already have a powerful Red Sword unit, then you probably don’t need any more red units for your team. If you have a strong tank, then you may want to focus on finding characters that can support a choke-point strategy.

Use strong 4★ or 5★ Heroes[edit | edit source]

It is always helpful to construct your team with individually powerful heroes. Each hero has a given potential (represented by stars, ranging from 1★-5★) that determines their stat growth and their available skills. As a rule, you will only want to focus on leveling characters with at least a 4★ potential, as 3★ and lower characters will be outclassed at higher levels because of their poor skill pool.

Additionally, different heroes have stats and skills that make them more or less desirable.

Level up Olivia: Blushing Beauty[edit | edit source]

Icon Skill Assist.png Dance/Icon Skill Assist.png Sing is one of the most powerful Assist skills in the game. Giving a unit two turns can let a hero with color advantage kill two foes, or kill one and move back from a dangerous counterattack, or just move twice and attack. All refreshers can be built in such a way that they defeat the enemies they have a color advantage over, while being able to pass their turns to teammates if there are no enemies left for them to fight; this means they are never dead units on a team.

However, most refreshers are exclusive to 5★. Of the few that are not, the most-readily available refresher is Olivia: Blushing Beauty Olivia: Blushing Beauty, who is also a free unit. Make it a priority to level her up, using Feathers to Unlock Potential as quickly as possible, while Inheriting solid skills to her (Icon Skill Special.png Moonbow, Fury 4.png Fury 4, Wings of Mercy 3.png Wings of Mercy 3 or Swordbreaker 3.png Swordbreaker 3 are the common choices). She is easily worth being the first Hero you move to 5★.

Even if you pull other refreshers, multiple different refreshers are useful when moving onto some of the more challenging content later on, such as Squad Assault or Chain Challenge.

Color Balance[edit | edit source]

Color balance is essential to a good team. As the triangle in the lower right hand corner of the combat map shows, different attack colors have a rock-paper-scissors like cycle of advantages. Red beats Green, Green beats Blue, and Blue beats Red. Colorless Units are equally powerful against all opponents (excluding special -Raven tomes). To make the most of this, it’s recommended that all teams include at least 2 different colors to improve opposing matchups. Also, because of how the AI behaves, it is often possible to “bait” the opponents into disadvantaged matchups, so a good color balance is very helpful for abusing the AI.

Magic and Physical Balance[edit | edit source]

In addition to color balance, it is also good to have a combination of physical and magical attackers.

Damage Type Red Blue Green Colorless

The primary difference between these types of units is the defensive stat they target. Physical attackers are effective against foes with low DEF ratings, while magical attackers do more damage against units with low RES stats. Having at least one unit of each type will help to break through units that have a single high defensive stat.

Mobility and Range Balance[edit | edit source]

The last thing to consider for a good team is mobility and range differences. In order to focus fire on a single enemy unit it is useful to have a mix of Icon Move Infantry.png infantry units,Icon Move Armored.png armored units, Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry units, Icon Move Flying.png flying units, close attackers, and ranged attackers. Close‐ranged units can attack most opposing ranged heroes without provoking counterattacks, and vice versa. Flying units or cavalry are often able to flank or attack units that would otherwise be inaccessible. So having a variety of character types can really help build a well balanced team.

Building an effective emblem team[edit | edit source]

Other than your core team, you will also need to build 4 other teams whose heroes all belong to one movement type (only flier units, only cavalry units, only armor units, and only infantry units). These are generally defined as X emblem teams. Many quests require you to complete content with only one movement type, so starting early allows you to work on these quests as soon as possible.

Emblem teams also have extremely powerful C-skill support buffs that are relatively easy to find, bolstering their overall strength regardless of individual performance. Lastly, you can place all 4 types of blessings on these 4 different teams, saving the hassle of building separate teams for Blessed Gardens maps.

This section is not a definitive or best way of building emblem teams, but rather focused on a minimal investment build that is necessary to complete most of the quests and maps these emblem teams will need to clear. Hence it will focus more on free-to-play and non 5★ exclusive units. It is up to the player to determine which heroes can be substituted based on what they can obtain.

Infantry Emblem[edit | edit source]

Infantry Emblem is the easiest emblem to build for, and it practically builds itself. There are only 5 heroes from the pile of free infantry heroes you need to concern yourself with:

Hero Where to Obtain Importance
Ike Vanguard Legend Face FC.png Complete Xenologue 3  Sword Icon Move Infantry.png infantry unit that can counterattack at any distance, and his unique special Icon Skill Special.png Radiant Aether provides massive sustain through many fights.
Celica Warrior Priestess Face FC.png Free hero from the Free Summon: Arrival of the Brave banner  Sword Icon Move Infantry.png infantry unit that can attack twice thanks to Double Lion.png Double Lion, comes with Icon Skill Special.png Astra and Icon Skill Special.png Galeforce, and Death Blow 4.png Death Blow 4, the first tier 4 passive.
Fjorm Princess of Ice Face FC.png Complete Chapter I Part 5 of Book II  Lance Icon Move Infantry.png infantry unit that can counterattack at any distance, and has the unique special Icon Skill Special.png Ice Mirror, useful for taking down mages.
Olivia Blushing Beauty Face FC.png Hero Battle (cycles every 12 days)  Sword Icon Move Infantry.png infantry unit that allows other heroes to act again.
Wrys Kindly Priest Face FC.png/Lissa Sprightly Cleric Face FC.png Hero Battle (cycles every 12 days)  Staff Icon Move Infantry.png infantry units that keeps other heroes at high HP.

Ike: Vanguard Legend Ike: Vanguard Legend and Fjorm: Princess of Ice Fjorm: Princess of Ice both come at 5★, Olivia: Blushing Beauty Olivia: Blushing Beauty unlocks the Icon Skill Assist.png Dance skill once promoted to 3★ and Lissa: Sprightly Cleric Lissa: Sprightly Cleric/Wrys: Kindly Priest Wrys: Kindly Priest get Icon Skill Assist.png Rehabilitate at 4★. Due to the sheer strength of Legendary Ike and Fjorm, most content in the game can be completed with just these two heroes. It is suggested to inherit Quick Riposte 3.png Quick Riposte 3 to Legendary Ike[4], equip the Quick Riposte Sacred Seal to Fjorm, and upgrade the Close Def 3.png Close Def 3 and Distant Def 3.png Distant Def 3 Seals for Legendary Ike to choose between. A promoted 5★ Lissa can be an offensive threat by softening up enemies and greatly hindering their mobility with Icon Class Colorless Staff.png Gravity+, however her primary job is still to keep Legendary Ike and Fjorm at full health.

While there is not a huge need to upgrade this team as F2P if you are looking for other infantry that are easy to pull and can perform very well then consider Nowi: Eternal Youth Nowi: Eternal Youth and Fae: Divine Dragon Fae: Divine Dragon. Dragons have great stats and can inherit Icon Skill Weapon.png Lightning Breath+, a weapon with Distant Counter.png Distant Counter built in. DC weapons are not very common, which makes dragons more valuable than most other infantry units.

Cavalry Emblem[edit | edit source]

Otherwise known as Horse Emblem, Cavalry benefit from being able to move 3 spaces greatly enhancing their attack range. The following table lists skills that are important for a cavalry team to inherit and the common heroes that hold it. When you acquire these heroes use Inherit Skill to give your main horse team these buffs. The suggested C-skills is to have 2 heroes with Hone Cavalry.png Hone Cavalry and 2 heroes with Fortify Cavalry.png Fortify Cavalry so that every horse on your team can receive +6 in every stat.

Skill Type Heroes with skill
Cavalry C-Skill Buffs for all cavalry Gunter Inveterate Soldier Face FC.png Jagen Veteran Knight Face FC.png Eliwood Knight of Lycia Face FC.png Reinhardt Thunders Fist Face FC.png
Icon Skill Assist.png Reposition for all cavalry Selena Cutting Wit Face FC.png Barst The Hatchet Face FC.png Silas Loyal Knight Face FC.png
Icon Skill Weapon.png Brave Bow+ for Lyn: Brave Lady Lyn: Brave Lady Klein Silver Nobleman Face FC.png Gordin Altean Archer Face FC.png
Death Blow 3.png Death Blow 3 or Death Blow 4.png Death Blow 4 for Reinhardt: Thunder's Fist Reinhardt: Thunder's Fist Klein Silver Nobleman Face FC.png Effie Army of One Face FC.png Hawkeye Desert Guardian Face FC.png Celica Warrior Priestess Face FC.png

The following table lists some of the important free Cavalry heroes and where to obtain them:

Hero Where to Obtain Importance
Lyn Brave Lady Face FC.png Free hero from the Free Summon: Brave Heroes banner Fast  Colorless bow Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry unit able to attack sword, lance, and axe units without fear of being attacked
Veronica Brave Princess Face FC.png Free hero from the Free Summon: Arrival of the Brave banner A  Staff Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry unit that can attack without being attacked back, applies massive debuffs on the enemy, and provides massive buffs to allies when healing or attacking
Laegjarn New Experiences Face FC.png Heroic Grails Menu  Lance Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry with a skill set that can debuff enemies' def and res from a distance. She also sports a lot of defense and speed for melee duels.
Titania Warm Knight Face FC.png  Red Tome Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry that comes with the rare skill Atk Res Link 3.png Atk/Res Link 3, which adds buff utility to movement assist skills. She is also the only source of red magic damage for cavalry that is not 5★-exclusive.
Xander Paragon Knight Face FC.png Grand Hero Battle Revival (Sunday UTC), Heroic Grails Menu  Sword Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry that, when promoted, can counterattack at any distance, and sports a lot of defence to take on many physical units.
Ursula Blue Crow Face FC.png Grand Hero Battle Revival (Thursday UTC), Heroic Grails Menu  Blue Tome Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry to provide powerful magic damage (until a unit like Reinhardt: Thunder's Fist Reinhardt: Thunder's Fist is pulled)
Camus Sable Knight Face FC.png Grand Hero Battle Revival (Tuesday UTC), Heroic Grails Menu  Lance Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry that, when promoted, can counterattack at any distance.
Gunter Inveterate Soldier Face FC.png Hero Battle (cycles every 12 days)  Axe Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry that comes with the Hone Cavalry.png Hone Cavalry skill, which is an integral skill to boost cavalry team performance.
Cecilia Etrurian General Face FC.png Hero Battle (cycles every 12 days)  Green Tome Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry to provide some green magic damage. She is also the only source of green magic damage for cavalry that is not 5★-exclusive.

Start off cavalry emblem with a team consisting of 5★ Brave Lyn, 5★ Brave Veronica, 5★ Xander, and 4★ Ursula. Promoting a Xander to 5★ is important as he is one of the few F2P heroes that can counterattack at any range, and has a good stat line as well. Although Camus: Sable Knight Camus: Sable Knight also a free hero that can counterattack at any range, he has a weaker stat distribution and is competing heavily with other blue cavalry. Camus can be promoted if you can not find a suitable unit to replace him.

Your cavalry team should eventually have a 5★ Brave Lyn with an exchangeable Icon Skill Weapon.png Brave Bow+ and a 5★ Reinhardt with Death Blow 3.png Death Blow 3 or Death Blow 4.png Death Blow 4 inherited. The remaining cavalry heroes are flexible but they are generally fill the role of tanks protecting the above two heroes or are specific counters to dragon, armor, or cavalry units. Such heroes can include Xander: Paragon Knight Xander: Paragon Knight, Ares: Black Knight Ares: Black Knight, Cecilia: Etrurian General Cecilia: Etrurian General, Frederick: Polite Knight Frederick: Polite Knight, Gunter: Inveterate Soldier Gunter: Inveterate Soldier, or Titania: Mighty Mercenary Titania: Mighty Mercenary but this is by no means exhaustive. Calvary Healers can also be used with great effect if you have any.

Flying Emblem[edit | edit source]

Flying heroes supports the most diverse types of play-styles, from explosive rush-down tactics to impenetrable airborne fortresses. However, many unique fliers and flier skills are locked at 5★ so the options for F2P players just starting out is a lot more limited. The following table lists skills that are important for a flier team to inherit and the common heroes that hold it. Note that while the upgraded versions of the weapons perform better, they require some investment.

Skill Type Heroes with skill
Flier C-Skill Buffs for all fliers Shigure Uplifting Artist Face FC.png Caeda Talyss Heart Face FC.png Palla Eldest Whitewing Face FC.png
Icon Skill Assist.png Reposition for all fliers Selena Cutting Wit Face FC.png Barst The Hatchet Face FC.png Silas Loyal Knight Face FC.png
Hit and Run.png Hit and Run/Drag Back.png Drag Back for all Fliers Clair Highborn Flier Face FC.png / Roderick Steady Squire Face FC.png Donnel Village Hero Face FC.png Eirika Restoration Lady Face FC.png Gwendolyn Adorable Knight Face FC.png
Icon Class Blue Lance.png Firesweep L+ for Cordelia: Knight Paragon Cordelia: Knight Paragon Roderick Steady Squire Face FC.png
Icon Class Green Axe.png Brave Axe+ for Cherche: Wyvern Friend Cherche: Wyvern Friend* Barst The Hatchet Face FC.png Camilla Bewitching Beauty Face FC.png Raven Peerless Fighter Face FC.png

*Note: If Cherche herself is upgraded to 5★, then she doesn't need to inherit a Brave Axe. Her 5★ exclusive weapon Icon Class Green Axe.png Cherche's Axe bears the same effect but with more might, as well as refinery upgrade options.

Here are a few of the free fliers available to pick up until you find a better flier:

Hero Where to Obtain Importance
Eir Merciful Death Face FC.png Complete Chapter 1 Part 5 of Book III  Colorless dagger Icon Move Flying.png flying unit that applies debuffs and passively heals both herself and allies.
Camilla Steamy Secrets Face FC.png  Colorless dagger Icon Move Flying.png flying unit that comes with the rare skill Hone Fliers.png Hone Fliers.
Aversa Dark One Face FC.png Heroic Grails Menu  Red Tome Icon Move Flying.png flying unit that, when promoted, applies debuffs and the panic status effect on most enemies. She is also the only free source of flying magic damage.
Gerome Masked Rider Face FC.png Heroic Grails Menu  Axe Icon Move Flying.png flying unit that comes with an inheritable weapon that is effective against Icon Move Cavalry.png cavalry units.
Narcian Wyvern General Face FC.png Grand Hero Battle Revival (Monday UTC), Heroic Grails Menu  Axe Icon Move Flying.png flying unit with a skill set that is useful against blue units, particularly  Lance units.
Naesala Skys Shadow Face FC.png Grand Hero Battle  Blue Beast Icon Move Flying.png flying unit with a skill set that is useful against foes with low spd.
Subaki Perfect Expert Face FC.png Hero Battle (cycles every 12 days)  Lance Icon Move Flying.png flying unit that, when promoted, provides a source for the Quick Riposte 3.png Quick Riposte 3 skill.

Most fliers with ranged weapons, all fliers with Icon Skill Assist.png Dance or Icon Skill Assist.png Sing, and most colorless fliers are locked at 5★ rarity. Any of these fliers are an extremely powerful addition to flier emblem. A recommend mid-stage flier team to build up would be Cordelia: Knight Paragon Cordelia: Knight Paragon, Cherche: Wyvern Friend Cherche: Wyvern Friend, and Caeda: Talys's Heart Caeda: Talys's Heart. They cover all three colors, are available at 3★ and 4★ rarities, and have strong low investment builds that are effective until stronger fliers are pulled.

Fliers also have class specific Sacred Seals assigned to them that can be created and enhanced: Iotes Shield.png Iote's Shield, Flier Formation, Aerobatics, and Guidance. Fliers can also be broken up individually and put into other teams as they can help ferry other heroes across terrain.

Armor Emblem[edit | edit source]

Unfortunately, Armor emblem is the hardest to build up properly as F2P because the skills that make them useful are extremely hard to obtain. The best advice is to preview upcoming banners that feature armored heroes and pulling for them:

Skill Type Heroes with skill
Distant Counter.png Distant Counter (or weapons with built in DC) Hector General of Ostia Face FC.png Zelgius Jet-Black General Face FC.png* Robin Fell Reincarnation Face FC.png Hardin Dark Emperor Face FC.png Hector Brave Warrior Face FC.png* Hector Just Here to Fight Face FC.png *Hector Marquess of Ostia Face FC.png* Tiki Legendary Dragon Face FC.png* Ike Stalwart Heart Face FC.png*
Ranged Weapons Henry Happy Vampire Face FC.png* Jakob Devoted Monster Face FC.png*Tharja Normal Girl Face FC.png* Lyn Winds Embrace Face FC.png* Niles Forbidden Tease Face FC.png* Kagero Beverage Ninja Face FC.png* Cecilia Festive Instructor Face FC.png* Eirika Gentle as Snow Face FC.png*
Armor March 3.png Armor March 3 Amelia Rose of the War Face FC.png Ephraim Sacred Twin Lord Face FC.png* Henry Happy Vampire Face FC.png* Robin Festive Tactician Face FC.png* Lyn Winds Embrace Face FC.png* Myrrh Spooky Monster Face FC.png* Fae Holiday Dear Face FC.png* Greil Heroic Exemplar Face FC.png*

*Hero does not appear on most banners Having at least 2 heroes that have these skills will make short work of the quests you need to complete, as well as making armor teams more enjoyable to use. As for armor buffs Draug: Gentle Giant Draug: Gentle Giant, Sheena: Princess of Gra Sheena: Princess of Gra, and Gwendolyn: Adorable Knight Gwendolyn: Adorable Knight can be pulled pretty easily. Most Armor teams favor the Ward Armor.png Ward Armor buff from Draug.

For better or for worse, there are only 7 armored units that can be obtained for free:

Hero Where to Obtain Importance
Hector Brave Warrior Face FC.png Free hero from the Free Summon: Arrival of the Brave banner A  Lance Icon Move Armored.png armored unit that comes with a stronger version Distant Counter.png Distant Counter called Ostian Counter.png Ostian Counter, an excellent skill set for an armored unit, and relatively balanced stats.
Black Knight Sinister General Face FC.png[5] Heroic Grails Menu  Sword Icon Move Armored.png armored unit that, when promoted, has Icon Skill Special.png Black Luna, one of the strongest specials in the game, has a weapon with Distant Counter.png Distant Counter built in, and is surprisingly fast and mobile. He is one of the better armor units regardless of his 'free' status.
Arden Strong and Tough Face FC.png Heroic Grails Menu  Sword Icon Move Armored.png armored unit with the highest HP/defense combination in the game, making him an excellent physical wall. Due to his low Resistance, he is weak to attacks from  Magical weapons. When promoted, he also possesses Follow-Up Ring.png Follow-Up Ring to guarantee attacking twice (or four times on offense with his default Icon Class Red Sword.png Brave Sword+), making him an excellent defensive and offensive threat.
Zephiel The Liberator Face FC.png Grand Hero Battle Revival (Monday UTC), Heroic Grails Menu  Sword Icon Move Armored.png armored unit. Trades offensive power and utility for more consistent walling and tanking ability compared to the other free sword armor options.
Eliwood Devoted Love Face FC.png Heroic Grails Menu  Lance Icon Move Armored.png armored unit that comes with the rare Goad Armor.png Goad Armor skill.
Dorcas Pumpkin Smasher Face FC.png Heroic Grails Menu  Axe Icon Move Armored.png armored unit with one of the highest attack stats in the game, and solid defense and HP stats. Also comes with the rare Sturdy Stance 2.png Sturdy Stance 2 skill.
Cecilia Festive Instructor Face FC.png Heroic Grails Menu  Colorless dagger Icon Move Armored.png armored unit that comes with the rare skills Atk Res Bond 3.png Atk/Res Bond 3 and Def Ploy 3.png Def Ploy 3. The only free armored unit with a ranged weapon and access to colorless damage.

Note that  Heroic Grails are a valuable resource, so these armored units may not be worth investing in (excluding Hector: Brave Warrior Hector: Brave Warrior and Black Knight: Sinister General Black Knight: Sinister General).

What Free-to-Players (May) Miss Out On[edit | edit source]

While this guide should help any players looking to play without spending money, it is still good to know what goals are going to be difficult or impossible to achieve without buying orbs. Here is a list of things you won’t be likely to do.

Arena Rankings[edit | edit source]

A free-to-play player can easily compete in the Arena to earn feathers. Achieving a top-rank on the leaderboards, however, is very unlikely. Because of the way that matchmaking and scoring behaves, players with optimized teams and multiple merges have a higher potential number of points in a single Arena run. As a result, only players willing to spend large amounts of money or devotion are likely to earn spots in the top 100.

Non-Focus 5★ Heroes[edit | edit source]

Getting 5★ heroes is very possible without spending money. In fact, a free-to-player has a high chance of summoning many 5★ Heroes throughout the lifetime of the game. The chances of finding a specific non-focus hero though is very low. So if there is a specific hero that you really want, expect to fork over a lot of cash.

Large Hero Collections[edit | edit source]

As stated before, you will get about 30 heroes from summons with your free orbs. Since this includes some 3★ heroes, you won’t have an expansive collection with all of your favorite Fire Emblem characters. Instead of trying to complete your collection, it’s better to focus on having at least one very competitive team.

Merging 5★ Heroes[edit | edit source]

While the competitive meta is not fully developed, it seems likely that merged heroes will eventually dictate the upper levels of competitive play. Considering the expense and difficulty of obtaining specific 5★ heroes, getting duplicates that can be merged together is prohibitively expensive.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Most of the numbers used in this article are approximations based on trends in how FEH distributes resources coupled with personal experience. For this specific number, a 6-month average was taken from the Orb Distribution page.
  2. At the 90th percentile, this becomes 250-350 orbs. This is derived through the use of trial runs on summoning simulators with 3% focus and 4 focus heroes. The average goes down if the base focus percent is higher or fewer heroes are present on the banner. Sharing colors does not change the average.
  3. This is a very, very rough number. Also note that it takes at least a month and a half to enter Tier 18.
  4. This can be obtained by promoting the free Subaki: Perfect Expert Subaki: Perfect Expert to 5★
  5. Any new player that invests in a tiny amount of money can actually receive him at 5★ without spending Hero Feathers or Heroic Grails