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The Dark Knight (ダークナイト Dāku naito) is a horse-mounted combat magical class that is introduced in Fire Emblem Awakening. One of the promoted forms of the Dark Mage class, Dark Knights wield Tomes as their primary weapon of choice, and are also able to arm Swords as their secondary weapon.

History in the Series

In its original inception in Awakening, the Dark Knight class is introduced as the successor to the Mage Knight class of old. One of the promoted forms of the Dark Mage and Mage classes, the Dark Knight class is armed with Swords and Tomes as its weapons of choice.

In Fates, Dark Knights are treated as a Nohrian class, and again as one of the promoted forms of the Dark Mage class.

In Warriors, Dark Knight is the base class of Leo and is unable to use Swords, though their ability to do so is referenced in Leo's Dual Special, with him using his Iceblade. It promotes into Dark Crusader and is a clone of the Troubadour class.

In Three Houses, Dark Knight is a class featured in the Master Rank curriculum. To pass the Dark Knight class, a unit must be at Lv. 30 and have an A in Riding, a B+ in Reason, and a C in Lances. In addition, the Dark Knight class has a mirror class in the form of the Holy Knight.



Dark Knights are similar to Mage Knights, in the sense that their Magic is slightly higher than their Strength. When compared to their un-promoted forms, Dark Knights clearly have superior Movement, making them great for performing rescue missions. They do, however, suffer from the usual litany of weaknesses that are associated with mounted units, including limited range on sand-based skirmishes and sustaining bonus damage from Beast Killers. Compared to Sorcerers, Dark Knights are much more all-rounded but have poor Skill and Speed.

In Awakening, the first skill that Dark Knights are able to learn is Slow Burn. This skill improves their Hit Rate and Avoid by 1 point for each passing turn for fifteen turns. Given the subpar Skill of Dark Knights, Slow Burn can benefit them in the long run, but it has its limitations due to its potency taking time to build up. The skill is thus generally not very useful on lower difficulties. Lifetaker, conversely, is a regenerative skill that allows Dark Knights to recover half of their maximum HP upon successfully killing a foe. This skill is particularly useful when Dark Knights are low on HP; other units could weaken foes sufficiently for them to kill off, allowing them to replenish their HP without the aid of recovery items or Staves.

In Fates, the first skill learnt by Dark Knights has been replaced with Seal Magic. After battling (provided that both units survived), the target will lose 6 points of magic after battle. This makes the Dark Knight as an effective magic crippler, as it can chip off a decent amount of magic when stacked with other debuffs.

Their Hoshidan counterpart is the Basara class, as both are promotions of the Tome-wielding classes that allows them to use another weapon other than Tomes. Dark Knights have a bit more flexibility with tomes due to their A-rank proficiency and can cover more ground due to being a mounted unit. However, Basaras have more flexibility with lances and their stats are much more balanced.

In Three Houses, Dark Knights gain extra firepower and flexibility in the form of Black/Dark Tomefaire and Canto, at the cost of being much more difficult to promote into compared to previous entries in the series. This is due to the requisite A-Rank in the skill of Riding, which potential mages can earn by promoting into a riding class (such as Cavaliers, Paladins, etc.) or by tutoring. However, this is less than optimal, as there is only one lower-level magic-using cavalry class to efficiently build a unit's riding and reason rank, the Valkyrie, which on top of requiring the paid DLC and having a high requisite B-Rank in riding and Reason, is also female-exclusive. This makes it difficult for potential male Dark Knight candidates, such as Hubert, Sylvain, and Lorenz, to promote into the class.

Overall, Dark Knights form a rather useful class as a whole, performing well as a flexible offensive unit. Although they are not as magically proficient and somewhat slower compared to Sages and Sorcerers, their use of swords allows them to counter high resistance units. In Fates, this also keeps the Dark Knight from being a completely helpless unit when suffering from the effects of Snake Spirits, Dragon Spirits and Ginnungagap tomes.


The Dark Knight class generally takes on an ominous appearance that is closely intertwined with the overarching theme of death, replete with jet-black armour, headpieces with fearsome miens and horses with black coats. The masks donned by both incarnations of the class encapsulate the theme particularly well; in Awakening, the masks donned by Dark Knights carry designs inspired by Grima's face, while in Fates, the masks resemble actual human skulls.


Base Stats

FE132545650958--SwordIconFE13.png E TomeIconFE13.png E
FE141986653868--FE14 Sword.png E FE14 Tome.png E
FE1632101714161213157--FE16 lance icon.png C FE16 reason icon.png B+FE16 riding icon.png A

Maximum Stats

FE1380384140404542388--SwordIconFE13.png A TomeIconFE13.png A
FE1455323128273134308--FE14 Sword.png B FE14 Tome.png A

Growth Rates

FE1610/40%5/15%10%0%-5/0%0%5/20%10/45%---FE16 lance icon.png +3 FE16 reason icon.png +3 FE16 riding icon.png +3

Class Skills

FE13Slow Start Icon.pngSlow Burn
Learnt at Level 5.
Learnt at Level 15.
FE14Magic Seal.pngSeal Magic
Lifetaker (FE14).pngLifetaker
Learnt at Level 5 and above.
Learnt at Level 15 and above.
FE16Canto FE16.pngCanto
Black Tomefaire FE16.pngBlack Tomefaire
Dark Tomefaire FE16.pngDark Tomefaire
Seal Resistance FE16.pngSeal Resistance
Class Ability of Dark Knights.
Class Ability of Dark Knights.
Class Ability of Dark Knights.
Mastery Ability of Dark Knights.


Base ClassPromotion MethodPromoted Class
FE13FE13 Generic Dark Mage (M) Map Sprite.gifDark MageUse a Master Seal FE13 Icon.pngMaster Seal on a Level 10+ Dark Mage.FE13 Generic Dark Knight Map Sprite.gifDark Knight
FE13 FE13 Generic Mage (M) Map Sprite.gifMageUse a Master Seal FE13 Icon.pngMaster Seal on a Level 10+ Mage.FE13 Generic Dark Knight Map Sprite.gifDark Knight
FE14FE14 Generic Dark Mage Map Sprite.gifDark MageUse a Master Seal FE13 Icon.pngMaster Seal on a Level 10+ Dark Mage.FE14 Generic Dark Knight Map Sprite.gifDark Knight
FE16Any classUse a FE16 Seal Icon.pngMaster Seal on a Level 30+ unit and pass the Dark Knight Certification Exam.FE16 Dark Knight Icon.gifDark Knight
FEWWarriors Leo Sprite.gif
Dark Knight
Use a Master Seal FE13 Icon.pngMaster Seal on Leo.Warriors Leo Sprite.gif
Dark Crusader

Notable Dark Knights



Three Houses


  • In the opening cutscene in Fates, Dark Knights can be seen using swords. A few can also be seen using lances, though they are incapable of using them in-game.