Three HousesThree Houses

Cindered Shadows Walkthrough

Hard mode, no units lost, somewhat low turn count.


Cindered Shadows is a DLC side story released for those who bought the expansion pass on February 12th, 2020. It has 7 chapters featuring the hidden fourth house, the Ashen Wolves. The player will get to witness some further story events through the course of the side story. As the player completes chapters in the side story, different units and classes will become available for recruitment and usage in the main story.

Cindered Shadows provides a decent challenge, even when played on normal mode. This is likely Intelligent System's response to many people feeling that the main game is too easy. This guide is written for those playing in hard mode, but the same general strategies can apply to normal difficulty as well. Of course, playing on normal difficulty will give you a lot less trouble, since there will be less enemies, who are also weaker.

This guide is written with a lossless LTC Hard Mode run in mind. This means that we aim to complete the chapters as fast as possible, while losing no units. Of course, these strategies will still work on Normal Model. While these strategies take advantage of each unit's strengths and tries to use the game's mechanics to their full potential, Fire Emblem still has the element of randomness, so the details described here may not work for you (or may not be necessary if you got RNG blessed). If you aren't don't care about low turn counts, you can apply these strategies while moving more slowly across to map to make things easier.

Guide Contents


The quirks and differences of Cindered Shadows.

Available Units

The story begins when Byleth and a few students see a mysterious figure running around the dark, eventually disappearing through a crack. They decide to chase the figure, and eventually end up in an underground area that is built beneath Garreg Mach. As such, only a select few units are available for use.

After the first chapter, you will also gain access to the Ashen Wolves, each carrying their unique class.

Classes and Skills

Your units cannot gain any skill experience, they are stuck with what they have right now. To make up for this, the MVP of each chapter will gain a significant experience boost. Your units also cannot gain certifications for any new classes. Some of them are already certified in another class that isn't their current class, you may reclass them if you wish. Although this is not recommended, your units have plenty of synergy in the classes they are given. The only truly bad class is Byleth's Swordmaster, but you don't have the option to reclass them as another advanced class. Oh well.

Funds and Weapons

Although you will get the chance to explore, the options are quite limited when compared to exploring the monastery. Firstly, the Church isn't giving you monthly funds. So you have to solely rely on getting bullions from enemies. There is an armory in the Abyss, although their selection isn't great. It's worth picking up a few silver weapons when you have the spare cash, and a Killing Edge for Byleth later on. You will gain some Ore throughout the chapters, you can use these to repair your important weapons, or forge a few iron weapons. Iron weapons will be very important, since they give the highest avoid while still allowing you to hit back decently hard. They also have a lot of durability, which is needed for combat art spamming. Steel weapons are great to get solely for usage with combat arts, since they provide a huge Might bonus. Combat arts can't hit twice anyways, so the loss in attack speed doesn't really matter. Be careful when doing this however, since equipping a steel weapon from a combat art will greatly lower your units avoid on the enemy phase. Overall, you have enough funds and access to weapons to use combat arts freely, although it is recommended to only use them when necessary. They are especially helpful with consistently hitting high avoid enemies (like Assassins). Finally, the Sword of the Creator will replenish 5 durability after Chapters 1 and 2, and then another 10 durability after Chapter 4. On Normal mode, it will be fully repaired instead.

Healing Consumables

Linhardt is your only true healer, capable of healing 25+ health per turn to pretty much anyone on the map thanks to Physic. Other than that, your only options for healers are Balthus, who can heal a measly 10-15 HP, and Yuri, who only has 3 uses of Recover. Hence, giving everyone Vulneraries and Concoctions is necessary for survival. Enemies do a lot of damage on hard mode, and Linhardt will quickly become overwhelmed by injured allies, so it's important for all units to have a way of healing themselves. You can purchase healing consumables in the Abyss, but no need to overdo it, you need to save money for weapons anyways.


Each unit is assigned a Battalion to start with. These battalions aren't the broken ones you get towards the end of the main story, but they provide some essential combat bonuses, and their gambits are decent enough. You will get the opportunity to replenish them after each chapter.

General Strategies

General Fire Emblem Three Houses tips. How to use your units effectively.

General Strategy

The contents below also apply to the main story, although they are especially important for Cindered Shadows Hard Mode due to the high difficulty of the chapters and limited resources.

Bases Over Growths

Cindered Shadows is a difficult campaign, especially when played on hard mode. The maps are big and spread out, and the enemies are tough. It is important to maximize effectiveness of each unit every turn to make sure you're getting the most value from your decisions as possible. The campaign is balanced around the classes and units that you're given. Every chapter is doable, even if your characters get stat screwed. Level ups don't matter as much, because they just aren't consistent enough. Rather, play around your character's base stats - all units come promoted to Advanced Classes already, and can all hold their own either in combat or in utility. While some of the more powerful students are missing from the cast, the units you have are perfect for the occasion.

Combat Arts

Not going to lie, compared to most enemies, your units have pretty bad stats. Combat arts will often give you the slight boost you need to finish off enemies. In particular, Hilda and Edelgard get access to Helm Splitter, giving them a way to damage enemy Fortress Knights. Ashe has pretty terrible offensive stats, but he has access to the extremely powerful Deadeye, allowing him to hit enemies from many tiles away (with extra power too). In fact, most of Ashe's turns will be spent using combat arts with a Steel Bow, since he does so little damage otherwise. Thanks to combat arts and his high Dex, Ashe will be able to reliably poke enemies for somewhat significant damage. Don't be afraid to spam combat arts whenever you need them.

Dealing With Enemy Assassins

Most of the enemy forces are mercenaries and thieves, meaning that a large amount of them will be Sword wielding Assassins. These enemies are incredibly difficult to deal with. Firstly, they all have upwards of 35 to 40 speed on hard mode, meaning they will be able to double almost all of your units. They are also all equipped with Silver Swords, meaning that they will hit extremely hard. In fact, all of your magic units can be one-rounded by most enemy Assassins, assuming they are able to hit twice.

Assassins also tend to have extremely high avoid. Even Dimitri, who has access to Swordbreaker, will have trouble hitting them. They also have an above-average 6 movement. This is above most of your ground-units, and means that they are able to cover a large area of the map, making them especially worrisome for your frail and slow magic users.

The best ways to deal with Assassins are to take advantage of their weak points: Strength, Resistance, and Charm.

Low Strength means that Edelgard will easily be able to wall multiple assassins at once, since they will at most do 5-6 damage per hit to her. If Linhardt can spare a cast of Physic on her each turn, she can wall them indefinitely.

Their low Charm will also leave them susceptible to being hit (and heavily damaged) by gambits. Remember that gambits will freeze enemies in place for a turn, and the most dangerous part of Assassins is their ability to always be in range of some of your frail units; so if you gambit either one or a group of Assassins, your frail units are free to deal damage to other enemies without worrying about getting shredded during the enemy phase.

Finally, Assassins (like most melee classes) tend to have horrendous Resistance. This means that your magic units will easily be able to hit and deal massive damage to them. Two magic users (even Linhardt can do this) will easily be able to take down a single Assassin during the player phase. So if you can stall them using Edelgard/gambits, you can destroy them with your magic units the following player phase.

Hapi in particular can easily kite a single Assassin and kill them using a combination of Banshee and Canto. Banshee will reduce the Assassin's movement down to 1, and then Hapi can simply Canto away and out of range. Two hits of Banshee is enough to kill most Assassins in the game. Be careful though - Hapi is slow and very frail, one misstep and she will die. In my playthrough, she barely even took a single melee hit.

Dealing with Fortress Knights

Some chapters in Cindered Shadows have an abundance of Fortress Knights. These enemies will often have around 30 Defense, meaning that your average Strength melee units like Byleth and Ashe will barely even be able to tickle them. Furthermore, most of them are equipped with either Steel Axe or Silver Axe, meaning that they will hit back pretty hard.

The most effective way of dealing with Fortress Knights is to take advantage of their pitiful 4 movement, and stalling them out using Yuri. Yuri probably won't be able to damage them, but they certainly won't be able to damage him either, since they won't even manage double-digit hit chance on him. Having only 4 movement means that by placing Yuri on a good square, enemy Fortress Knights can pretty much be walled off from the rest of your team.

Whenever your magic units have a spare moment, they can easily one-round any Fortress Knight, although they usually have more important enemies to deal with (Assassins). Overall, Fortress Knights don't pose that much of a threat due to their terrible Movement, but they can look rather intimidating in large numbers. They are best left distracted by a high avoid unit, and then dealt by your magic units with after more threatening enemies are killed.

Canto is Broken

Canto is part of what makes Wyvern Lord the best class in the game. While you don't have any Wyvern Lords in Cindered Shadows, you do have five units that have access to Canto: Claude, Dimitri, Constance, Hapi, and Yuri.

Canto can be used to quickly pick off enemies from range and then retreat back to safety. A very effective strategy is to block chokepoints using tanky units (Edelgard), then have your Canto units repeatedly head into the chokepoint, take out an enemy, and then move back behind Edelgard where they can't be touched. Constance in particular has an incredibly powerful combination of Flying and the ability to use Magic, allowing her to easily deal with the melee enemies that Edelgard is walling off. In fact, Constance has such high damage potential and mobility that she should pretty much be attacking and Canto-ing every single turn. She will likely be MVP for almost every chapter.

Dimitri has an important combination of 8 movement and Canto. This allows them to move forwards up to 4 tiles, attack an enemy, then retreat back 4 tiles to where they started. Constance and Claude have 7 movement, and Hapi only has 6 movement, meaning they can only afford to move forward 3 tiles. This problem is somewhat mitigated for Hapi, since she has pretty ridiculous attack range.

Yuri's Canto allows him to take advantage of his Locktouch ability to open doors and chests for your team without falling behind. This is particularly important in Chapter 4. He can also make use of his Foul Play combat art to reposition other units, as well as help your slower units catch up (Edelgard), since he can swap with her and then continue moving with Canto.

Movement will always be an important stat in Fire Emblem, but the fact that Canto allows you to move after attack in Three Houses essentially means you can pick off enemies without ever breaking formation.

Chapter 1

A Skirmish in the Abyss


This section hasn't been written yet. Contact me if you'd like to contribute some content.

Strategy and Walkthrough

Welcome to Cindered Shadows. This chapter gives the player a gentle introduction to the difficulty level, as well as the style of the maps to come. Your group starts in the bottom left, and the four Ashen Wolves are spread out along the path that the map forces you to go on. To your immediate right is Balthus and a few Grapplers. Hapi occupies the gated area in the middle, Constance and Yuri are in the top right. Be sure to defeat all of the random enemies, since some of them are carrying valuable Vulneraries and Bullions.

This chapter is pretty straightforward. Move your group along the path slowly, sticking together as best as you can. There's only a handful of (easily dealt-with) reinforcements in this chapter, so nothing will surprise you too much. Balthus shouldn't cause you too much trouble. After you defeat him, begin moving through the twisted corridor below Hapi. Try to stay out of her range, since she can repeatedly hit your units with Banshee, which will force them to stay there, and also force Linhardt to repeatedly heal them to keep them alive. Edelgard is especially susceptible to this. It may be worth chipping at her with Ashe's combat arts before trying to pass through the corridor.

Once you aggro the pair of fliers guarding Constance and Yuri's area, Constance's entire group will begin marching towards you, with Yuri not too far behind. While doing this, the enemies will probably end up fairly clumped together. This is an excellent opportunity to stun multiple enemies with AOE gambits, picking off weakened ones with your ranged units. Constance hits pretty hard and has a lot of range, so take care when approaching her. If you didn't defeat Hapi with Ashe's combat arts, you can enter her central room through the top. Once you wipe out all of the Abyssians, the chapter will end.

Easy peasy.

Chapter 2

Ambush in the Arena


This section hasn't been written yet. Contact me if you'd like to contribute some content.

Strategy and Walkthrough

The Ashen Wolves start separated in the middle of the map, with your main group on the bottom right. Don't worry though, this is all part of Claude Yuri's scheme. Yuri is a few might shy of one-rounding the Holy Knights to the south, so you need Constance or Hapi to top up the damage. If you really want to, you can forge him a Steel Sword+ for this occassion, but it's not really worth it since Yuri isn't really a combat-focused unit anyways. Balthus can deal with the other Holy Knight.

This chapter highlights the importance of dealing with enemies in little groups. After defeating the initial enemies in the bottom right, reinforcements will begin appearing in the other three corners, counter-clockwise starting from the top right. Quickly move your main forces towards the center to join up with the Ashen Wolves. Keep your units grouped together, and fight the large groups of enemies in little chunks by baiting them with your tankier units. Constance and Hapi can sit back and dish out damage while keeping out of harm's way using Canto. Use the odd structure of the center arena to form multiple mini chokepoints, ensuring that only your tankier units (Edelgard, Dimitri, Byleth) can be attacked during the enemy phase.

Once the last wave of reinforcements appears on the bottom left, the Death Knight will also spawn as a third army near where your army initially started. Don't worry, you won't have to defeat him, and the weapon that he drops really isn't worth it. Move your forces towards the bottom left of the central arena and prepare to meet the enemies. The Death Knight's movement will be heavily impeded by the many stairs they have to cross, so don't worry about dealing with him. Once you clean up the last wave of reinforcements, you will be victorious.

This isn't an overly difficult chapter, but a very good primer for the remaining chapters. You will always be heavily outnumbered by stronger enemy units, but you can win by fighting them in little groups. Bait enemies out with tanky units, destroy them with your damage dealers. Don't try to fight multiple groups of enemies at once, your units aren't good enough to do that.

Chapter 3

Search for the Chalice


This section hasn't been written yet. Contact me if you'd like to contribute some content.

Strategy and Walkthrough

Things start to get harder from here on out.

Your army starts in the top-middle of the map. You're surrounded on all sides by these weird demonic-beast-looking golem things. The one directly to the south is one of the two main bosses, and it packs a massive punch. Stay out of its range until you've dealt with the other enemies, since it can almost one-shot some of your units.

Hapi's personal ability allows her to one-shot break the barrier of all of the golems, so take advantage of this.

The end goal of this chapter is defeat the boss golem directly to the south (Marcelle), take his special key, and use it on the Magic Seal in the bottom right of the map. The quickest way to do this is to beeline Claude there while holding the key, and pray that he doesn't get trapped by the horde of enemies guarding it. Doing this can win your chapter pretty quickly, but you'll also forego a lot of valuable experience by doing this. If you want to finish Cindered Shadows ASAP (or care about LTC), then the speedrun strategy can be worth trying. Otherwise, just go with the normal one. It's a bit easier, and it'll make the future chapters a bit easier.

The Normal Strategy

This strategy will earn you a lot of experience, and given you a general feeling of accomplishment. But it definitely isn't necessary.

Fun fact: I did this on my first hard mode run accidentally, since I didn't know you only had to activate the bottom-right seal. Woops.

Carefully begin making your way towards the Golem in the top left corner. Use Edelgard to bait out the pair of Assassins and Sniper towards the left, and deal with them on the following player phase using Constance, Hapi, and Dimitri. Be careful to not aggro Marcelle. Kill the Golem in the corner, but don't waste any gambits on it. You'll need your gambits and battalions in-tact for the stronger ones.

Once you deal with all the top-left-side enemies, put a single tanky unit one tile in range of Marcelle, and the rest grouped up just barely out of range. Marcelle's weapon hits on Resistance, so be careful about using Edelgard for this. You can use Divine Pulse if Marcelle ends up killing whoever you put there as bait. Then, on the next player phase, pick your weakest unit, and gambit the tile closest to your grouped on army. This will pop the barrier, and allow your units to begin targetting the unshielded tile. Try your best to make every single unit attack. Units with canto can go in, attack, and then move out of the way to make room for someone else to attack. Anyone capable of attacking from range (Byleth with Sword of the Creator, Hilda with a Hand Axe, etc.) should do so, since only 2 tiles are exposed to melee attacks. If you position your units correctly, most of them should be able to make attacks on the unprotected tile. Hopefully, Marcelle will be defeated in a single turn by doing this. Don't bother trying to break all of his barriers, it isn't worth the effort, Trying to do so also puts all of your units in danger of being killed by it.

Around this time, golems will start spawning in the bottom left and bottom right of the map. Every odd numbered turn, a golem will spawn from the bottom left, and every even numbered turn, a golem will spawn from the bottom right. If the previously spawned golem is still alive, then no golems will spawn.

Make your way down the left side of the map, defeating enemies as you meet them. You can use gambits to defeat golems quicker, but save a few for Simone, who is every bit as strong as Marcelle was. After you defeat the enemies on the left side, make your way across the middle. Use the bushes to bait out Simone, and defeat it using the same strategy as Marcelle. Hopefully you still have a gambit left. Simone gives a lot of experience, especially since you get to kill it 3 times. Your units will level up a lot just from doing this.

If you want to, you can activate the fake seals. This will spawn a lot of reinforcements for you to defeat for extra experience, and will also apply a Movement -3 debuff to your whole team. Use Linhardt's Restore to counter this.

Once you're satisified with the amount of experience you've earned, give Claude the key and send him towards the bottom right corner to activate the seal.

The Speedrun Strategy

Start out by doing the same thing as the normal strategy, except going right instead of going left. Bait out Marcelle again, and defeat him to take the key. Give the key to Claude, and have him beeline down right edge of the map towards the lightly-guarded seal. The single archer there isn't strong enough to one-round him, so Claude will be able to take a single hit. If you're careful, Claude should be able to reach the seal alive and activate it to win the chapter.

By doing this, you fight about 1/3 of the enemies only, and also don't have to deal with Simone. Of course, you will lose a lot of experience by doing this. Luckily, your units are good enough to make it through the remaining chapters even if you choose to speedrun this one.

Chapter 4

A Harrowing Escape


This section hasn't been written yet. Contact me if you'd like to contribute some content.

Strategy and Walkthrough

This one is tough.

Your units start at the top of the map, and you seem to be getting chased by a golem, except he's like 10 times stronger and cannot be defeated. Great.

The end goal of this chapter is to move all of your units into the top right area. There are a lot of obstacles in your way, primarily two doors that cannot be opened by door keys. Luckily, the Ashen Wolves know what to do! There are two levers that need to be pulled, which will open the otherwise impossible-to-open doors. The first one is in the center of the map, and the second one is in the bottom left.

In the battle preparation screen, position your high movement units at the back, and Edelgard and Yuri in the front. Yuri is a great candidate for pulling the first lever, since he has a respectable 6 movement as well as Canto. He can also open the regular door to the left of the lever.

To start, move all of your units towards the first door, with Yuri heading towards the first lever. Be careful to not aggro any enemy units on the way. It'll take Yuri two or three turns to get to the lever, so your units will have to wait for that. Position your lower movement units, particularly Edelgard, at the front of the door, with your mounted units in the back. Once Yuri pulls the lever, he can Canto next to the door. On the following turn, he can pick the door and Canto again to join the rest of your units.

Once all of your units cross the blue line, all of the initial enemies will disappear, not that they really mattered anyways. Send Dimitri and Claude towards the second lever, there will be some enemy reinforcements spawning. Pull the lever, and Canto back towards the rest of your team. You can have Dimitri and Claude kill the enemy reinforcements on the way, since they can Canto anyways, but it doesn't really matter. Avoid the golem that spawns in the bottom left corner.

Continue moving the rest of your units towards the top right, dealing with enemies along the way. As you approach, more and more reinforcements will begin pouring out of the top right. In total, you'll have to slaughter your way through the following enemies in order to make it to the end.

  • 2 Fortress Knights
  • 2 Assassins
  • 2 Swordmasters
  • 2 Warlocks
  • 2 Snipers
  • 2 Warriors

Luckily, the game has blessed this area with one of the best chokepoints of any Fire Emblem map I've ever seen. Right below where the mass of reinforcements gather, there is a tile of impassable terrain. To the upper left of that tile is a wall. To deal with these enemies, all you have to do is place Edelgard in the middle diagonally between the impassable terrain and the wall with the little nook. This will block all enemy units from reaching your other units. Use Hapi, Constance, Claude, and Ashe to dish out damage from the left side of the wall (near the Heal Tile), ensuring to Canto out of Sniper range. Use Byleth and Hilda to attack with range behind Edelgard. Lindhardt and Balthus can spam heals. You should be able to clear the enemies within 2 or 3 turns, giving you just enough time to rush your units to the end. By defeating all the enemies here, you'll earn a considerable amount of experience as well as a few useful items.

Chapter 5

Besieged in the Chapel Ruins


This section hasn't been written yet. Contact me if you'd like to contribute some content.

Strategy and Walkthrough

This chapter acts as a nice little break following the previous two stressful chapters. The map is extremely spread out and fragmented. Your party starts in the top middle, with Balthus separated and next to a giant bird in the bottom left. A thief leader and his gang start in the top left, with the enemy commander Metodey in the bottom right.

Balthus seems like he's in a tough situation, but he really isn't. The giant bird that he is trapped with is very weak, and the other enemies leave him alone unless he walks into their attack range. Leave Balthus on his starting square and just use Healing Focus to heal the giant bird's pitiful damage.

If you've played Sacred Stones, the strategy for this map is the exact same as when Ephraim took Castle Renvall with only 3 units units. The enemy forces are fragmented, so as long as you don't fight more than one group at once it should be fairly easy. For the first turn, focus your units on the group to the southwest of your starting position. Make sure to move your units around in the prep screen so that the mounted units are in the back and Edelgard is as close to the front lines as possible. As usual use her, Dimitri, and Byleth to tank hits on enemy phase, keeping your fliers and healers out of harms way.

After you deal with the first group of enemies, the Thief Leader and his gang should be approaching the center. Turn your forces towards the middle of the map, were some of Metodey's forces should be gathering too. Some reinforcements will start arriving in the top left, make it a priority to defeat the Thief Leader to stop these enemies from spawning. Once the enemies in the middle have been mostly dispersed, Balthus can start making his way to the right to join the rest of the team (he may be unable to move for a turn if the giant bird uses a gambit on him).

Sometime around the time you finish dealing with the enemies in the middle, Metodey will make a comment about the treasure chest next to him, and how he might just take it and leave. It is unclear if he actually will, but it's just a Silver Sword+, so no big deal if he does. In any case, begin moving your units down the middle and towards the grouping of trees right about Metodey. Hapi should have sighed by now to call a bunch of demonic beasts, these beasts will distract the enemy forces while you deal with the enemies on the right. Position Dimitri and Yuri as far right in the bushes as possible, using the area as a choke point to deal with the mass of enemies here. Take care to not leave any slow units in Metodey's range, since his Brave Sword will shred them. After killing the enemies on the right side, open the chest with Yuri and make your way to the left to clean up the rest.

Chapter 6

The Rite of Rising


This section hasn't been written yet. Contact me if you'd like to contribute some content.

Strategy and Walkthrough

This can be a difficult and annoying chapter.

The primary goal of the chapter is to place 4 separate (non-Ashen-Wolves) units on the four red tiles near the Ashen Wolves all at the same time. You must do this and defeat the enemy commander within 20 turns. The enemies are very concentrated in the center. Three mages with Bolting in the center of the map make it almost impossible to fight the enemies head on. The Ashen Wolves will also be taking poison damage every turn until you fill on the four red tiles, so it is advisable to prioritize giving them Vulneraries and Concoctions so that they can stay alive. To make this even worse, an event will occur at the start of the first enemy phase that causes every unit on the map except the enemy commander to lose 10 HP, this must be kept in mind when planning out the first turn.

There are two ways of going about this chapter: the normal strategy and the "speedrun" strategy. These strategies are detailed below. Assuming your units got average level ups, there is a strategy to break through the center, allowing you to quickly complete the chapter; this may involve some resetting to account for shaky hit rates.

The Normal Strategy

Split your units into two groups. One group will head left to rescue Balthus and Yuri, whereas the other group will head right to rescue Hapi and Constance.

If you move the four Ashen Wolves as close to the wall as possible, the enemies will ignore them. In fact, most enemies in this chapter don't move unless you enter their aggro range. Be sure to repeatedly check the range of the three Bolting mages in the middle, since most units don't have enough resistance to tank multiple Bolting hits. Carefully move up the sides, dealing with enemies as you encounter them until you reach the Ashen Wolves. After rescuing them, your units can converge towards the enemy commander and take him down. There is a more powerful mage with Bolting near the enemy commander, who has Meteor. If you have enough turns left, you should draw out the Meteor uses using someone with high resistance, such as Constance, Hapi can also use Rally Resistance to help with this. Note that the enemy commander will not take any damage (they have 99 Def/Res) until you fill the four red tiles.

The main problem with this strategy is the low 20 turn count, and this map is quite big. If you maximize your movement and play efficiently by killing enemies with Canto units and moving them forward, you should be able to make it to the enemy commander with a few turns to spare. Note that this will mean that you will not be able to get both chests, although they contain an Iron Lance and Iron Axe respectively, so it's not a big deal anyways. You will likely have to waste a few turns playing around all of the long-range magic, so the turn count could get tight. Aside from that, this is usually a pretty consistent strategy.

The Speedrun Strategy

The other option is to pretty much just charge through. This strategy is highly inconsistent, and will probably require a few resets to account for your units missing and the enemy units hitting (or getting crits). It may not even work, if your units got slightly stat screwed you'll miss some key kills by one or two HP. Although, if you manage to do everything right and have some luck with enemies missing, everything after the first enemy phase is quite easy.

In order to do this, you will have to set everything up on the battle preparation screen. Dimitri must be assigned the Empire Pavise Co. battalion, so that he can gambit with Blaze. Ashe needs to be assigned the Seiros Mercenaries battalion, Linhardt should be assigned the Kingdom Archers battalion. If you didn't swap around your units' battalions in the previous chapter, Linhardt gets Ashe's battalion, Ashe gets Balthus' battalion, Balthus is left unassigned. Then, arrange your units on the map according to the below formation.

Chapter 6 Formation

The following three paragraphs detail the steps taken during the first player phase and the first enemy phase.

This will allow Dimitri to use his max movement range to ride up to the first Bolting mage on the right and use his Blaze gambit, which will hit the other two mages as well. Then, Ashe can use his maximum movement range to hit and kill the left mage with Deadeye. His battalion will give him 7 extra hit, but because it is being used at max range the hit chance will hover around 50%, depending on how much experience he got. Position your other units in a way such that Ashe cannot be hit by more than one enemy Fortress Knight, although he may not even be able to tank a single hit after the map-wide 10 damage. The enemies will have around 50-60% hit chance on Ashe, so he has an okay chance of surviving if you limit the number of hits to one. Then, use Linhardt's gambit on as many of your units as you can, at the very least on Edelgard. This will deter the enemy mages from attacking her, allowing her to block the enemies from coming from the right by moving up four tiles without dying. Doing this will allow you to defeat two of the four long-range mages on the first turn.

Like in the normal strategy, Balthus and Yuri should be moved into their respective corners, spamming heals whenever they need to (remember to use Balthus' Healing focus). Constance needs to move down a single square, to stay out of enemies range. The central enemies will begin moving down on the first enemy phase, so she will be able to join the battle shortly. Hapi can choose to move towards the mages in the center to help out, or stay put (out of range of nearby assassins).

If all goes well on the first player phase, you can end the turn and pray that the enemy phase works out too. Dimitri will likely be targeted by all enemies that can reach him, including the remaining two long-range mages. If he can either survive or dodge one of the hits, you're pretty much in the clear. Edelgard should have stopped all of the units on the right using the chokepoint. Hopefully a few of the armored units attacked Byleth, and they were able to chip away at them a little.

During the second player phase, you should begin healing with concoctions and kiting towards the right side of the map, making sure that only the tanky/dodgey units are in range of being hit. Dimitri can take care of the third long-range mage and then using Canto to rejoin the rest of your team. At this point, an enemy Assassin may have moved towards Hapi. She can kite them using Banshee and Canto, since the enemy Assassin will only be able to move one tile after being hit. Move Constance as far down as possible towards Hapi.

If you managed to make it this far with no one dying, the rest of the chapter will be significantly easier. Most of the enemies will be wiped out, and you can simply send Claude and Dimitri to the top corners, along with another lower movement unit towards where Balthus still is and where Hapi started. Move the rest of your units up the middle, and you should be able to get to the enemy commander within 10 turns or so. This leaves Yuri enough time to pick the chests, if you really want the weapons. Most of the difficulty from the strategy comes in the first two turns, so if you're not against save scumming then you can easily reset until you get favorable RNG.

Chapter 7

Wolf Pack


This section hasn't been written yet. Contact me if you'd like to contribute some content.

Strategy and Walkthrough

This is the final chapter of Cindered Shadows, and has a distinct GBA vibe to it - there is only a single enemy superboss to defeat.

In general, you can deal with the Umbral Beast the same way you'd deal with any other demonic beast: gambits, effective combat arts, and hopefully some Killing Edge crits from Byleth. It's just a lot larger, more powerful, and more annoying. The Umbral Beast will summon hoardes of phantoms each turn. Do your best do defeat these phantoms promptly, since the Umbral Beast will heal from them. They also drop Concoctions, which you will need to keep your units healthy.

Once you get to the final health bar of the Umbral Beast, he will begin randomly shuffling the map around, which can disorient your units. Luckily, you have a lot of very high movement units, meaning they will be able to quickly get back into the action. Edelgard will likely be delegated to dealing with the phantoms at this point, since she is unlikely to get in range of the Umbral Beast before getting teleported elsewhere.

It's worth noting that aside from Byleth and the Ashen Wolves, your other units are expendable. But c'mon, are you really going to let them die after all that you've been through?

Play patiently and safely, use Concoctions whenever your units are damaged, and you'll eventually take the beast down. The beast's range and power are quite high, so don't be afraid to Divine Pulse if things start going wrong.

Once you've defeated the Umbral Beast, you'll get a nice heartwarming conclusion scene as your units begin to return to regular monastery life.

Three HousesThree Houses