Guard Stance is a new game mechanic in Fire Emblem Fates.
Guard Stance works similar to Dual Guard in Fire Emblem Awakening. If two units are combined into one singular unit, like the Pair Up function in Awakening, the main unit gains stat boosts. These stat boosts are dependent on the secondary unit's current class (e.g a Berserker will primarily give strength/speed, while General gives strength/defense) and the two units support level. Having units pair up together that have supports will increase their stat boosts. Like the Attack Stance, the enemy can also use the Guard Stance. While in Guard Stance, dual attacks from enemies in Attack Stance will always be blocked. The supporting unit in a Guard Stance will be unable to attack while in Guard Stance unless the Bold Stance skill is equipped. The skill Nohrian Trust allows the lead unit of the Guard Stance to use skills from those of the supporting partner.
Unlike in Awakening, where the guard chance is based on the skill Dual Guard and Support level, the guard chance is always the same regardless of the paired units. Once paired up, the pair will share their shield gauge, which initially starts at 0, and has 10 increments. Each attack (by attacker or defender) that is not blocked by Guard Stance will increase the gauge by 2, even if the attack misses. Activating multi-hit skills Aether and Astra will give two Dual Guard points per hit. The gauge decreases by 1 every turn if the pair is does not attack or is not attacked by the enemy. Once the gauge is completely filled up, the next attack will always be blocked, regardless of hit chance. If the Guarding unit blocks a Shuriken attack, they will negate the stat reductions as well.
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