Physical Weapon Choice

Given the choice between any of these weapons at the start of an FE game, which one would you choose?

  • Sword
  • Lance
  • Axe
  • Bow

0 voters


It strongly depends on the game.

Most games have very good axes at the exchange of them being very weak for the first half of the game, some games have iron swords which are barely stronger than slim swords, and some games have Iron bows which are remarkably strong.

In general terms, I would want a sword for the first 5-10 chapters and then an Axe + a secondary for the rest of the game.

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Zelda is pretty much right. I’d want swords early then axes later because Axes are usually pretty good, just their wielders suck hard. in FE12 I always went mercenary early for the gains, then swapped to a pirate and into brezerker.

But personally I’ve always liked lances and bows, since I have a choice I’d pick axes though.

bows, because i’m a coward and would have to hit people from far away
if someone backs me into a corner i’d be too scared to fight them


I love axes and I’m unfairly biased and would probably spam a bunch of cavaliers and soldiers instead of brigands and fighters

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I’m edgy so I prefer Knives or Monster Weapons or even Laguz Weapons for my choice of physical attacks.

Or maybe a strong crossbow. Hmm…

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It depends on the design of your game, and most importantly, what type of enemies you want to feature.

So often the ‘sword lord’ is used because the game likes to pit you against axe bandit types, so you see the unit’s strengths.

If you want a bow lord, do lots of fliers. If you want an axe lord, do lots of soldiers or lance units for them to bonk, etc.

As long as my opening party is big enough to allow for flexibility in who I use, and that the enemies allow for each to show off their strengths, I don’t care so much about how the army skews in terms of weapons so long as everyone is useful in at least some niche scenario.

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swords are cool




Not quite the question here, but I think the reason Lords are given swords so often, besides the obvious cultural perception of swords being a hero’s weapon type of choice, is that swords are generally the most reliable weapon type in Fire Emblem, as well as the simplest. They have high accuracy, making them comparatively quite consistent, and they’re also generally locked to 1-range combat for far longer than axes or lances are. Much as the fandom often expresses boredom with them, there are actual game balance reasons behind swords being given to your starting unit that I feel warrant acknowledgment and consideration.

Besides swords, I think lances would be the second best-suited for use by a main lord, since they’re the “balanced” physical weapon type (with swords being lightweight and axes being heavyweight), making them a good introductory weapon type in their own way.