The Blacksmith (鍛冶 Kaji) is a combat physical class introduced in Fire Emblem Fates. One of the possible promotions of the Oni Savage class, Blacksmiths wield Clubs and Katana as their weapons of choice and are treated as a Hoshidan class.
Coming from the Oni Savages, the Blacksmiths bring several differences in tow from their counterpart, the Oni Chieftain. In stark contrast to the Oni Savages and Oni Chieftains, Blacksmiths have decent Skill on par with fellow Axe-proficient Berserker and slightly above average Speed, but they will have to give up on improving upon whatever Magic that they might have obtained before promotion. Their Strength, Defense, and Resistance are all inferior to the Oni Chieftain's in terms of both stat cap and growth, including a non-existent Magic growth and bottom stat in that area, but the aforementioned increased Skill as well as the increased HP and Luck caps are welcome replacements. These stats and weapon choice mark them as the Hoshidan equivalent of the Nohrian Hero, but are more experienced with Axes instead of Swords and exchange varying degrees of Skill, Speed, and Luck for additional HP, Strength, and Defense.
The choice of gaining Swords/Katana as a secondary weapon type to go along with their axes/clubs tie them with the Hero as the third most powerful playable physical swordsman in Fates below only the Master of Arms and the Hoshido Noble (discounting DLC classes including the tied-with Dread Fighter and the strongest swordsman class the Vanguard). Though locked out from the Brave Sword and the Venge Katana thanks to their B rank maximum with swords, the Blacksmith still has many powerful sword/katana options to choose from (including the accurate and powerful yet deadly to use Ganglari). Just like the Oni Chieftain, the Blacksmith can still take on axe/club/bow/yumi-wielders with their secondary weapon type. With their Skill matching that of the Berserker's, they are one of the most accurate axeman/clubsmen in Fates, and coupled with the higher accuracy and critical rate of the clubs compared to axes the Blacksmith will have little issue landing accurate hits and critical strikes that the Oni Chieftain would struggle with, giving them an easier time against agile units such as the Master Ninja and Falcon Knight. Their decent Defense still makes them viable physical shields which is bolstered further with their higher HP stat (which despite their lower defense gives them a very slightly longer survivability against physical units), and their slightly lower Strength than the Oni Chieftain means that one wouldn't lose much offensive power with physical weapons, arguably having an easier time defeating enemies. Their Luck is also average, giving them a much easier time not just hitting and dodging compared to their counterpart, but also giving them a greater chance to avoid critical hits. As a pair up partner, they provide decent boosts in Strength, Skill, and Defense; this can be useful for classes lacking in decent physical prowess such as the Master Ninja. All in all, the Blacksmith has several perks over the Oni Chieftain and makes for a worthy Hoshidan equivalent of the Hero class.
Of course, the Blacksmith does have some notable flaws that the Oni Chieftain lack and that they share with the Hero. They are purely suited for physical battles as their Magic is typically among the lowest in the game whereas the Oni Chieftain not only has a somewhat lacking but functional Magic stat but also comes with Scrolls to make use of it better. The Oni Chieftain's ability to use scrolls also compounds the Blacksmith's weakness of not being very effective against classes that specialize in utilizing ranged weapons (such as Master Ninja, Onmyoji, Sniper, etc.); nearly all ranged weapons the Blacksmith can use with decent efficacy either disable their ability to double, their ability to score critical hits, or are a combination of both. The Resistance of the Blacksmith is also typically low like much of the physical units in the series, though once again this still means that their survivability is very slightly above the Oni Chieftain's against magical units thank to the increased HP stat being greater than the Resistance difference between the two. At similar HP however, the Blacksmith is more vulnerable period because of their lower defensive abilities, so it is crucial to keep the Blacksmith's HP as high as possible to extend their survival even if by a small number. Another common point of contention is the Blacksmith's general lack of specialty: in one way or another they are outclassed in one category by some other class, so players desiring more specialized units may desert the Blacksmith for other classes (most commonly the Hero due to similar statistical builds except for a specialized stat in the Skill area and the accurate swords/katana complimenting the Skill stat better than axes/clubs).
The two skills that the Blacksmith learns are Salvage Blow and Lancebreaker. The first skill, Salvage Blow, will see little use as a combat skill due to the weapon that's received when it activates being completely random between katana, naginata, clubs, shuriken, and yumi. This skill, however, makes the Blacksmith an excellent source of income during skirmishes should the player choose to engage in them, made better due to the Blacksmith's average Luck stat. It is typically not reliable enough, however, since it only yields iron weapons upon activation. If income is not what the player desires, then the iron weapons gained are literally free weapons that can go into the Smithy for forging. With ore being the only primary concern with forging, Blacksmiths can farm multiple weapons to forge up to powerful levels. The second skill, Lancebreaker, makes them a good counter to Lance/Naginata-wielding units thanks to reasonable Speed and Defense stats, but this only comes into play at very high levels. With the trademark decent Skill stats of the Blacksmith, the highly evasive Lance/Naginata wielders such as the Sky Knight class tree and the Great Master find themselves suddenly getting hit easily and taking a lot of damage, and with the still respectable Strength of the Blacksmiths even physical Lance/Naginata-wielding walls such as Great Knights and Generals are often forced to chose another method of dealing with a Blacksmith, and all of their options are easily shut down either due to the Blacksmith's swords/katana or a Dual Club. If the Blacksmith is wielding a sword/katana instead of an axe/club however, a Dual Katana is the class's best friend against Lance/Naginata wielders. If a player has little issue with reclassing, then the Death Blow and Counter skills still highly benefit it. Death Blow in particular compliments the decent Skill of the Blacksmith very well, and Counter can be used to force melee units into taking a ranged weapon or Counter itself (made more deadly thanks to a higher HP stat).
All in all, the Blacksmith is quite the viable physical class, especially for an axeman/clubsman, but just like the Oni Chieftain and Hero they must be very wary of the Magic users abound due to the lack of an effective counter. While not as vulnerable compared to the Oni Chieftain in terms of accuracy, evasion, and dodging, they are not as effective when serving as shields for allies unless their HP is sufficiently high enough to make up for the difference in Defense and Resistance. As an Oni Savage derivative, it has the ability to deal high amounts of damage and withstand a number of hits if only less effective than the Oni Chieftain, trading magical competency and higher physical stats to hit more and dodge more.
The Blacksmith class can be seen wearing the basic Oni Savage class's outfit underneath their new outfit additions (sans the previous oni mask, arm guards, and prayer beads). The new additions are the long sleeveless jackets leaving the torso exposed, rectangular armor plating on their shoulders and much larger armor plating completely covering the forearm and the back of the hand, a pair of katana kept tied up on the back of the Blacksmith's outfit, and a metal forging mask with a visor, small horns similar to an oni's, and fabric draping from the sides of the mask likely to prevent burning/heating.
|FE14|| Salvage Blow|
|Learnt at Level 5 and above.|
Learnt at Level 15 and above.
|Base Class||Promotion Method||Promoted Class(es)|
|FE14||Oni Savage||Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Oni Savage.||Blacksmith|
- Possible promotion for: Rinkah
- Blacksmiths are the only Hoshidan class that can learn a weaponbreaker skill; the other weaponbreaker skills (sword, axe, bow, shuriken and tome) are learned by Wyvern Lords, Heroes, Sorcerers, Bow Knights and Maids/Butlers respectively, all them being Nohrian classes.