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The Thief is a combat/utility physical class that debuted in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.

History in the Series

The Thief is a recurring class in the Fire Emblem Series. Wielding Swords or Knives as their weapons of choice, the primary role of Thieves is to Steal and manipulate locks imposed on doors and chests. Enemy Thieves are capable of destroying villages, and unlike most other enemies, they often leave battles after accomplishing their self-motivated jobs of pillaging villages and/or looting chests.

In their original inception in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, Thieves are unable to promote, and due to being frail combat-wise, are commonly tasked to perform support roles through their lock-picking skills.

The advent of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War sees the Thief (シーフ) class being able to promote for the first time in the series. Thief Fighters act as the promoted form of the class and are reputably capable fighters on the battlefield.

In Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, the Thief class is again able to promote into the Thief Fighter class. This incarnation of the class is particularly special for Lara; depending on whether the necessary requirements are met, she can promote from a Thief into either the Dancer or Thief Fighter classes. After this title, the Thief Fighter class is retired, though the later Rogue and Trickster classes fill the same niche of a promoted class that retains all functions of the original Thief class.

In TearRing Saga: Utna Heroes Saga thieves are reverted to being unable to promote. In the game, there are two versions of the Thief class: a playable version in the mercenary class category, and an NPC/Enemy version in the criminal class category. The enemy version has a slightly higher strength cap in exchange for a slightly lower speed cap.

In Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Thieves continued to be unable to class change.

Thieves are given a new promoted form in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade: the Assassin class, losing the ability to Steal in return for the Lethality skill. In The Sacred Stones, Thieves are given the additional option to promote into the Rogue class alongside Assassin.

In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Volke is the only Thief who can promote into an Assassin. This promotion is done without an item, and is part of the main plot, in which Volke either leaves or is rehired as an Assassin for a fee of 50,000 gold.

In TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga, Czene, the playable Thief, is able to promote into Grassrunner, and is the only thief able to promote at all. They wield Knives, making them good for inflicting injuries to make it easier to capture units. All thieves have the Locktouch and Hide skills and usually possess a stealing skill: Czene and some enemy thieves have Mug, whereas Sedy is the sole user of the Steal skill. There is also a bow variant of the class used by enemy units.

There are no playable Thieves (盗人シーフ) to promote in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, effectively making it an enemy-only class, though it is coded to promote to Rogue within the game. All playable characters in the Thief class line come pre-promoted as Rogues or, in Volke's case, as an Assassin. 

In Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem, remakes of the Archanea Series, Thieves once again do not promote. However, they are allowed to reach up to Level 30.

In Awakening, Thieves are given the further option to promote into Trickster alongside Assassin.

Thieves are known as Outlaws (シーフ) in the localized versions of Fire Emblem Fates and are treated as a Nohrian class. Outlaws wield Bows instead of Swords and Knives. They are given the further option to promote into Bow Knight alongside Adventurer, the Bow using equivalent to the Awakening Trickster. The Hoshidan counterparts to the Outlaw are the Archer class in terms of Reclassing, mirroring Outlaws' bow usage, and are similar to the Ninja class in terms of utility, even sharing the Locktouch skill with the latter class.

The Nohrian thief-type class, Outlaw, reappears in Fire Emblem Warriors as the base class of Niles, in which it acts as a clone of the Archer class. There are also enemy-only versions of both Thief and Outlaw which act like clones of the Myrmidon class, with the added ability to open chests. Additionally, the Hoshidan Ninja and Master Ninja classes act as the Hoshidan variant of the Thief class.

In Three Houses, the Thief Class is an optional promoted class of the Commoner or Noble class if the unit passes the Certification Exam at Lv. 10 with a Sword Skill Level of C or higher and an Intermediate Seal. The other option with these requirements is the Mercenary class.

In addition, there is also an enemy-only variant of the Thief class called Ruffian. Ruffians are much weaker, have no class skills and appear exclusively in the prologue.

In Vestaria Saga I, the Thief wields daggers like it's Tellius incarnations. The class possesses the Lurk skill which increases terrain bonuses by 50%. It promotes into the Thief Hunter.

In Vestaria Saga: The Holy Sword of Silvanister, two variants of the Thief are introduced. The Thief Fighter, which is exclusive to Sjarta and is no different from the normal Thief and the Thief Master, which wields Swords and is exclusive to Drake. The Thief Master has higher Strength and Skill, making it superior to the Thief.


Save for Lara and Thieves from the Tellius Series and from Genealogy of the Holy War, all Thieves throughout the series have had the same uniform; common clothing with little/no armor, a cloak to use as a disguise and a bag or sack containing their plunder (this isn't shown during battle sequences or cutscenes). Except those already mentioned, most Thieves come with minute differences between games; like in Fates, Outlaws are shown with a quiver of arrows. While generic male Thieves are shown with their hoods up, female Thieves wear a cloth headpiece to conceal their hair to avoid notice, although this is only shown on map sprites and concept art.



An attack animation of a Thief

The Thief class primarily focuses on agility in combat, and can dodge the majority of enemy attacks. However, their low Strength impairs their utility as combat units as they can rarely inflict heavy damage on foes. When raising a Thief, it is recommended to have hardier units cover them while the Thief concentrates on weakened foes. They are somewhat like weak Myrmidons and score well in the Skill, Speed and (sometimes) Luck departments to offset their lower Strength, Defense and Resistance. Though weak, their high speed means they will double most opponents. Thieves with a high Skill rating can perform regular critical hits. A well-raised Thief can hold their own in combat, capable of dealing out reliable damage cause of their high accuracy (skill) while remaining almost completely untouched.

Thieves with low offensive capabilities are still useful as support units. Thieves have higher Movement than other infantry units, making them good for quick assaults or reaching objectives quickly. They can see farther than other units in Fog of War battles, making them perfect for scouting. They can also pilfer supplies from the enemy with their ability to Steal, robbing enemies of assets such as medicine or staves. With sufficient Strength, they can even steal weapons (depending on the game), especially valued if they can steal unique enemy equipment. These, alongside their ability to open doors and treasure chests without keys, make them valuable assets on any player's army. However, as they are physically frail, it is advisable to not leave them unguarded at all times.

When promoted into an Assassin, apart from the normal boost in all parameters, the Thief gains more points in HP, Resistance and Defense than any of their other stats. They lose their ability to steal from enemies, but retain the ability to use Lockpicks. They also gain the Lethality ability, thus making Assassins much more combat-oriented than Thieves. Rogues, conversely, keep all the abilities of the Thief class, becoming even more effective in that regard. Their price to pay is possessing weaker combat stats as compared to Assassins. However, they have a critical bonus, which, while not being as large as the Assassins, is still hefty when compared to that of Thieves.


Base Stats

FE1163-190207--Sword 2
FE3162-170107--Sword 1
FE42630307106--FE4 Sword.png C
FE516/141/0016/700-75/3-FE5 Sword Icon.png E
TS181051000-5--TS Sword.png 3
FE6163/1-19/72/10/166/5--Sword.gif E
FE716/153/2-1/39/802/10/266/5-Sword.gif E
FE8163-1902066-Sword.gif E
FE101650610030799FE10 Knife.gif D
FE111620170107--FE12 Sword.png E
FE121620170107--FE12 Sword.png E
FE131630680205--SwordIconFE13.png E
FE141631481245--FE14 Bow.png E
FE16259611118625--FE16 sword icon.png C
FEW52757104495--FEW Bow.png E

Maximum Stats

FE35220-20202020207--Sword 7
FE480181518223016156--FE4 Sword.png C
TS60161520253015-512-TS Sword.png 16
FE66020-20203020201520-Sword.gif A
FE76020-20203020201520-Sword.gif A
FE86020-20203020201520-Sword.gif A
FE103015102020401510799FE10 Knife.gif A
FE1160202025303025207--FE12 Sword.png A
FE1260202025303025207--FE12 Sword.png A
FE1360222030283021205--SwordIconFE13.png A
FE1435191820241817225--FE14 Bow.png B

Growth Rates

FE1620%0%/15%0%10%10%/15%0%0%/10%0%---FE16 sword icon.png +2 FE16 bow icon.png +1

Class Skills

FE4Steal (SNES).gifStealClass skill of the Thief and Thief Fighter classes.
FE5Steal (SNES).gifStealClass skill of the Thief and Thief Fighter classes.
TSTS Steal.gifSteal
TS Picklock.gifPicklock
Class skill of the Thief (F) class.
Class skill of the Thief class.
FE9FE9 Knife Skill.gifKnife
FE9 Steal.gifSteal
Class skill of the Thief and Assassin classes.
Class skill of the Thief and Assassin classes.
Base skill of all foot units.
Class skill of the Thief, Rogue and Whisper classes.
FE13Picklock (FE13).pngLocktouch
Movement +1.pngMovement +1
Learnt at Level 1.
Learnt at Level 10.
FE14Picklock (FE13).pngLocktouch
Movement +1.pngMovement +1
Learnt at Level 1 and above.
Learnt at Level 10 and above.
FE16Locktouch FE16.pngLocktouch
Steal FE16.pngSteal
Class Ability of Thieves.
Class and Mastery Ability of Thieves.


Base ClassPromotion MethodPromoted Class
FE4FE4 Thief Sprite (M).gifThiefChoose the "Class Change" option in the Home Castle when the relevant unit reaches Level 20.FE4 Thief Fighter Sprite (M).gifThief Fighter
FE5 (Standard)FE5 thief.gifThiefUse a Knight Proof (FE5).pngKnight Proof on a Level 10+ Thief.FE5 thief fighter.gifThief Fighter
FE5 (Lara)FE5 Thief (F) Sprite.gifThiefIn Chapter 12x, have Lara speak to Perne.FE5 dancer.gifDancer
FE7FE8 Thief Map Sprite.gifThiefUse a Fellcontract.gifFell Contract on a Level 10+ Thief.FE8 Assassin Map Sprite.gifAssassin
FE8FE8 Thief Map Sprite.gifThiefUse an Oceanseal.gifOcean Seal or a Master seal.gifMaster Seal on a Level 10+ Thief.FE8 Assassin Map Sprite.gifAssassin
FE8 Rogue Map Sprite.gifRogue
FE9 (Volke)FE9 Volke Thief Sprite.png
Choose to rehire Volke at the end of Chapter 19.FE9 Volke Assassin Sprite.png
FE13FE13 Generic Thief (M) Map Sprite.gifThiefUse a Master Seal FE13 Icon.pngMaster Seal on a Level 10+ Thief.FE13 Assassin.gifAssassin
FE13 Generic Trickster (M) Map Sprite.gifTrickster
FE14FE14 Generic Outlaw (M) Map Sprite.gifOutlawUse a Master Seal FE13 Icon.pngMaster Seal on a Level 10+ Outlaw.FE14 Generic Adventurer (M) Map Sprite.gifAdventurer
FE14 Generic Bow Knight Map Sprite.gifBow Knight
FE16Any classUse an FE16 Seal Icon.pngIntermediate Seal on a Level 10+ unit and pass the Thief Certification Exam.FE16 Thief Icon.gifThief
FEWWarriors Niles sprite.gif OutlawUse a Master Seal FE13 Icon.pngMaster Seal on Niles.Warriors Niles sprite.gifAdventurer

Notable Thieves

Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Mystery of the Emblem

Genealogy of the Holy War

Thracia 776

The Binding Blade

The Blazing Blade

  • Matthew - A Happy-go-lucky spy from Ostia who's actually quite sly.
  • Legault - Former member of the Black Fang known as the "The Hurricane" that left the group when it lost its way.

The Sacred Stones

Path of Radiance

  • Volke - A mercenary assassin who works under the drive of monetary gains.
  • Sothe - An orphaned stowaway seeking a lost, unnamed companion.


  • Gaius - A thief from Ylisse known for his nimble hands and sweet tooth.


  • Niles - One of Leo's retainers and a Nohrian scoundrel who wags his saucy tongue at everyone.
  • Nina - The calm and intelligent daughter of Niles who is prone to intense bouts of daydreaming.
  • Anna - One of many savvy merchants of the same name known throughout the Fire Emblem franchise who are known for get-rich-quick schemes to expand their coin purses.

TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga

  • Czene - A daughter of nomads that seeks to prove her worth.
  • Sedy - An orphaned thief from Narvia that steals to provide for a group of other orphaned children.

Three Houses

Vestaria Saga I

  • Cezar - A roving tomb raider to prefers to describe himself as "all man, all adventure."

Vestaria Saga: The Holy Sword of Silvanister

  • Sjarta/Irene - A young girl suffering from PTSD after being kidnapped.
  • Drake - A master at thievery. His true name is Dorian, the son of the slain former Duke of Frist.


  • Every naturally-occurring thief-class character in Awakening - Gangrel, Gaius, and Anna (and all three characters' potential Morgan) - is a redhead.
  • Thieves are often portrayed with a pack slung over their backs, as well as some manner of hooded cloak or cowl.
  • Outlaws wielding bows in Fire Emblem Fates is likely a nod to Robin Hood, a historical outlaw/archer.

See also