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The Cavalier (ソーシャルナイト, Social Knight in Japanese versions) is a horse-mounted unit capable of using either Swords or Lances as their weapons. They are the only non-promoted unit to wield two different weapons. While they do not possess high strength, health or defense, these characters can move very long distances across the battlefield, riding quickly from one area to another. In later titles of Fire Emblem, the introduction of the Weapon Triangle made these characters much more versatile in fighting different types of foes. Utilizing their ability to use both the sword and spear gives them no real weakness when facing any type of melee fighter in battle.
As with all mounted units, the Cavalier is able to traverse the map very quickly. Using this ability is often helpful to assist other characters at a far distance, meet certain objectives or quickly block an enemy advance.
They also make excellent rescuers once the rescue command was added into the game, able to move far distances, pick up injured allies, and move them to safety near a healer or just somewhere safe. The rescue command also allowed one to move slower units into battle at a much quicker pace. Due to their average combat abilities, it isn't recommended to fight foes of similar or greater strength. The ability to close in on units from a distance however, makes them outstanding units to use against Archers and Snipers.
Overall, these knights make strong support characters for other classes. With their ability to wield lances and swords, which allows them to use several weapons making use of weapon effectiveness, and their strong movement abilities, they can be extremely useful units.
Typically most Cavaliers lean more towards use of Lances. Fire Emblem Gaiden is the only game where they used only one weapon type (lances), as no class in that game used more than two melee weapon types.
Cavaliers have three weaknesses:
- One is their often low resistance which is true for many classes but is never much of a problem due to their high HP.
- A much bigger weakness is that while they have great movement capabilities, they also have a lot of terrain restrictions which can be a big problem in a place with a lot of forest that makes it harder for them to move or a place with mountains which Cavaliers can't travel on, they need to go around.
- A smaller problem is that the Ridersbane/Horseslayer and Poleaxe will do great damage, and are usually wielded by other fast moving units. This is, however, mainly a problem in FE1, FE9, FE10, and FE11.
The Cavalier is eventually promoted into a Paladin after reaching the requirements. In general, this is the use of a Knight Crest on a level ten or above cavalier. They can also promote into a Great Knight in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones and Fire Emblem: Awakening.
While their stats are boosted when upgrading into a Paladin, the largest new found advantage is the increase of movement, increasing the already large area the Cavalier could already cover in one turn. While this upgrade is useful, especially in terms of support (mentioned above) Paladins should still be treated as Cavaliers.
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