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Reclassing from a Berserker to a General in Shadow Dragon.

Reclassing (also known as Class Swap and Class Change) is a feature introduced in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. It is a system that allows the player to change the classes of their units. The exact method of doing so varies depending on the game.

In Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem

Any unit except special class units can change classes. Units that are Lords, Thieves, Manaketes, Ballisticians, Freelancers, and Dancers cannot be reclassed. There are limitations on how many of a particular class one can have, which are based on the total number of a certain class you could have plus one. For example, if in the course of the game you have recruited three Paladins and one Cavalier and could have recruited three more, 3 plus 3 plus 1 plus 1 is 8, so you can have 8 total Cavaliers and Paladins. Some classes can change into other classes, following one of three sets. This method of reclassing received mixed opinions from players. After completing New Mystery of the Emblem on Hard difficulty and Classic or above, male sets A and B become merged.

Class Sets

Male set A

Non-promoted: Cavalier - Archer - Myrmidon - Mage - Priest
Promoted: Paladin - Dracoknight - Sniper - Swordmaster - Sage - Bishop

Male set B

Non-promoted: Knight - Mercenary - Fighter - Hunter - Pirate - Dark Mage
Promoted: General - Hero - Warrior - Horsemen - Berserker - Sorcerer

Female set

Non-promoted: Pegasus Knight - Archer - Myrmidon - Mage - Cleric - Cavalier*
Promoted: Dracoknight/Falcon Knight - Sniper - Swordmaster - Sage - Bishop - General* - Paladin

* Only in New Mystery of the Emblem

General Tips/Observations

  • Changing a physical unit into a magic unit will result in having very little Strength and Magic after the swap (and vice versa). If one wishes to raise such a unit, it is best to reclass them at the lowest level possible. This way, the unit will have more opportunities to raise its Magic power. That being said, one of the only usable examples of this is shown in changing the class of Draug to a Dark Mage, which is made possible by his low starting level and unusually high speed growth (60%).
  • Many magical units that change to physical classes will be able to gain Defense while retaining the ability to gain Resistance; however, both of the growth rates will be low.
  • Dracoknights are the only axe class in Male Class A and Female Class sets.
  • In both games Dark Mage can only be obtained through reclassing. In New Mystery of the Emblem, this applies to pirates as well. 
  • Originally, Elice was the only character that could use the Aum Staff, because she was the only princess of the right class. However, several other princesses can be reclassed and use the Aum Staff.
  • In New Mystery of the Emblem, it is possible to usurp the class limit through a development oversight. If you play on casual and kill units in the preparation arena, their class will open up in the reclassing screen. Reclass units to the class of the dead unit and when you start the next round, you can have over the limit. The limit still exists, though, so if you have 21/20 mounted units, if you reclass one, you won't be able to add another until you kill one, as you will have 20/20. This is the only way to have single class runs.

In Awakening

In Awakening, the main function of reclassing is to allow the player to try out different classes as well as acquire the necessary skills to make their units better. Most units have three base classes that they can change into. Robin and his/her children, however, can change into a Tactician and any non-special class of their gender. To change classes, a Second Seal is required. However two classes are the exception to this rule: the Dread Fighter and Bride classes require the DLC Dread Scroll and Bride's Bouquet items respectively in order to access these classes.

To reclass, a unit must be level 10 or higher in a first tier class, or at any level in a second tier class. If a unit is at least level 10 in an advanced class, they can change directly to another second-tier class; otherwise, they can only demote back to first tier. Special classes such as Dancers, Taguels, or Manaketes are treated as first-tier classes until they reach Level 30. Stats are modified when reclassing and can be raised or lowered. Stat caps will also change as well as stat growths.

If a unit is at maximum level, they can "reclass" into the current class that the unit is already in, with no stat gain/loss, essentially "resetting" their level.

Children can inherit classes from their parents, giving them more than three base classes. However, if either parent has a class that the child cannot inherit due to their gender, an appropriate class is given instead. The class change gender options are specific to each character.

In Fates

The Reclassing system changed slightly from the Awakening system. All characters have one additional class with their base class, including Corrin. Corrin's second class option is determined during the creation of Corrin and cannot be changed once set.

Similar to Awakening's Second Seal, the Heart Seal allows a unit to switch their current class into their secondary class. The Partner Seal allows any unit who has achieved an S-Support to be able to reclass into the base class of their spouse. Lastly, the Friendship Seal allows a unit who has achieved an A+ Support level to be able to reclass into the base class of their friend. If Corrin uses it, they only need to have an A-Support with a same-sex unit to utilize it. However, any unit that is using a seal with a partnership with Azura, Mozu, Kaden, Keaton, Kana, Selkie, and Velouria will result in them reclassing into the secondary classes of those units. In the event that both units in a partnership have the same primary class, the seal allows them to reclass into the secondary class of their partner instead. For the above mentioned units, an appropriate class will be given.

If Chapter 18 has been cleared in any route, whenever a child character is recruited from then onward, they will have an Offspring Seal in their inventory. An Offspring Seal works similarly to a Master Seal as it promotes them. Additionally, the child will gain additional levels, gain Weapon EXP, and learn any skills they would have learned. Offspring Seals can only be used by the child that had it originally and becomes useless once the character either reclasses in any way.

The Dread Scroll, Ebon Wing, Sighting Lens, Witch's Mark, Hero's Brand, Exalt's Brand, Fell Brand, and Vanguard Brand allows the user to reclass into the Dread Fighter, Dark Falcon, Ballistician, Witch, Lodestar, Great Lord, Grandmaster, and Vanguard classes respectively. Using any of these items and seals will not reset their levels to 1 like in Awakening.

Children character inherit their determinate parent's primary class (secondary class if parent's and child's primary classes are the same) except for Shigure who gains the Troubadour. From their other parent, they will only gain their parent's base class except in the case of Azura who gives the Sky Knight class. If their parents share the same base class, they will gain their non-determinate parent's secondary class or the opposite route's class equivalent.

In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Reclassing exists in a form somewhat similar to Awakening and Fates, though simplified. To reclass, a unit must be holding a Pitchfork item. This will allow them to "promote" to the Villager class by visiting a shrine. Afterwards, they can then promote into a selection of classes based on the gender of the unit in question. This essentially achieves the same effect as reclassing with a Second Seal in Awakening or a Heart Seal in Fates, just with a few extra steps involved.

However, this can only be done a limited number of times. There are only three Pitchfork items in the game, available exclusively from the "Mila's Bounty" free DLC gifts, and they are consumed upon use. Therefore, you can only reclass in this way three times.

Note however that the Dread Fighter class is naturally able to "promote" to Villager, and therefore is subsequently able to reclass, without the need for a Pitchfork.

In Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE

Reclassing exists in a rather simplified version. To reclass a playable Mirage, one needs a Master Seal. Reclassing a Mirage into their other class also serves as a way to get every Carnage for every playable character in the game.