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“Herein lies the castle of the strong. Heroes who have become too strong are said to eventually arrive at this castle in their search for worthy opponents.”
Apotheosis (The Strongest One's Name in the Japanese version) is Xenologue 22 of Fire Emblem: Awakening.
This map pits you against five consecutive battles. Routing the enemy does not guarantee victory, but instead triggers the arrival of the next enemy force. The enemies are the strongest ever: powerful beyond limit. The path to victory against such exceedingly strong foes will become clear to the ones who surpass them. This map will require both your strongest soldiers and your ultimate strategy.
Clearing the first wave of enemies in two turns or less allows the player to restart the map with a far more difficult set of foes who require flawless strategy and warriors trained to perfection in order to defeat.
The following part of this article contains strategy; therefore, it is subjective, and may not work for everyone.
As the final DLC map, in terms of difficulty, it is easily the most difficult one. Each enemy unit surpasses all previous enemies in difficulty. First off, even with their capped stats, they all carry Dragonskin, halving all damage you can inflict and rendering Lethality and Counter useless. On top of that Pavise+ or Aegis+ is equipped on them, further halving damage until you are dealing single digit damage. Most carry Vengeance which can be fatal to your units as they will have an easy time hitting you and the more you whittle them down, the stronger they get. Needless to say that with their high caps you may need to put Limit Breaker on all of your units to even stand a chance of completing this map. It is possible to finish this map without Limit Breaker, but it requires a bit of luck and much strenuous effort. Skills that increase stats like All Stats +2, and Defender can really make a difference on this map. If attempting to do the Secret Path, Lancebreaker can be noteworthy for facing Anna. Also, of all maps to abuse the Dual System, this map is the one. Keep everyone Paired Up with their S or A supported people and things should go a little smoother. If possible use Forged Brave weapons and Celica's Gale to pile as much damage as possible and should be the main weapon used, even with Chrom. If you are not used to Rally play, this map is almost impossible to clear without proper Rally play, especially Rally Spectrum and Rally Heart, so take some time to learn how to properly play with Rally Skills. It should be noted, that the SpotPass characters have all classes, and thus can be essentially "rallybots." Among some of the best units to include on this map are any Sorcerers since Ruin (especially forged with max Mt) can really deal amazing damage and Nosferatu or Aversa's Night will keep them mildly healed. Also worth noting is Mire, which allows some free damage to be dealt to slower waves from afar (however, this will do minimal damage with Aegis+ and Dragonskin. It may even backfire, for if you attack with Mire, the enemies will all start moving at once, and healers from the map may heal the enemy making it a high risk, low reward possibility). Manaketes and Taguels due to their stat boosts from their Stone weapons are also indispensable and you should bring them on the map since, when stacked on Spectrum/Heart combo can cause the boost to reach over 20. It should be heavily noted that Manaketes and Taguels do not get Forged Brave weapons, and cannot abuse the support system to their maximum (as Brave weapons can allow the recessive paired-up to attack twice allowing for a possibility of 12 attacks). It should also be noted Taguels have poor resistance and cannot attack from a 2 range space, thusly allowing enemies to abuse that to their advantage. Olivia's Special Dance can also provide an extra boost to your units, however you must be wary of bringing her into the face of danger. It should be noted that within the waves, there are many healers. It is best to either take out your enemy in one round if you can, or take out the healers, for if you do not take out the enemy then they will be healed to full impeding any progress. Rescue (staff) is one of the most important tools here. It allows you to venture deep into enemy territory, only to get rescued before the enemies move to hurt your units. Galeforce is also notable, allowing you to go back and forth between a safe zone and where your unit could possibly die within the enemy phase. A Vantage and Vengeance combo can also work very well if used correctly due to Vantage allowing the player to always attack first if attacked during an Enemy Phase.
5 Generals and 2 War Clerics oppose you on this very first wave. The War Clerics can be easily dealt with and should be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent them from healing the generals with their Fortify staves. Deal with them with swords, lances, axes, or taguels to quickly stop them from healing the Generals, especially if you intend on doing the harder option of this map as their staves can really hinder your work for a two turn rout. Luckily they are unarmed so counterattacking is not something to worry about. The Generals all pack Pavise+ so direct weapon combat will be difficult and they also carry Spears so no exploiting range aside from perhaps Snipers with Longbow weapons. Nevertheless, Mage, Archer, and Manakete units will be effective on this wave.
If this wave is completed in 2 turns or less, Anna will offer to let you restart the wave count back to one and allow you to challenge a much more challenging 5 wave set. The difficulty is much higher that continuing on another 4 waves and the final boss is extremely difficult. However, should you choose to pursue this path you will be rewarded with an Ultimate Emblem, an item that requires 99999 Renown Points to get and is worth the same amount in gold when sold. If not, you will face 4 more waves and the final reward will be Katarina's DLC Einherjar card.
The Falcon Knights come with Hawkeye and Aegis+. Unfortunately this means that Bows and Wind Magic will be doing small damage, even with the bonus damage effect. However, Taguels with Beastbane can rend them to shreds. Also, any axe weilders that have a forged Tomahawk or Volant Axe will deal extra damage due to the Weapon triangle . In the case of the Volant Axe, it will deal even more damage due to its bonus on flying units. Beast Killer wielders will give similar results as well. The Berserkers all carry Axefaire and Pavise+. Luckily though, thanks to their low defense stats, even with Pavise, your units should be able to inflict decent damage and even Magic units will be lethal to them. As they are axe units, their accuracy is usually not as high as other enemies, so units with the skill Axebreaker or wielding a Superior Axe can bring their accuracy down dramatically.
The Generals come back once again and are almost the exact same as the first wave Generals so deal with them in a similar fashion. The Snipers come in from the northwestern portion. Unfortunately you will need to deal with them directly since they all pack Longbows along with Aegis+ to prevent long range damage and Hawkeye to ensure that their attacks will hit. They aren't too difficult, but you will need to take care of your aerial units to prevent bonus damage unless they have Iote's Shield. The Snipers aren't too problematic, but they can be annoying since you will need to engage them on your own terms instead of relying on both your initiated attacks and counter attacking, unless a Longbow wielding Sniper is a part of your team. Either way, assault them with Sword, Lance, and Axes and they should go down quickly. The Bow Knights come with Hawkeye, Pavise+, and Bowbreaker. They are a fusion of the two other units of this wave and can be easily dealt with Magic users.
In this wave, Anna gives you the option to choose a wave comprised of aerial units or a wave of mounted horse units.
Half of this wave can be handled with Bow users and Wind magic since the Wyvern Lords and Griffon Riders have Pavise+ and with their semi-lower resistance, this is the optimal way of dealing with these units. The Falcon Knights and Dark Fliers, on the other hand, have Aegis+, it becomes a little bit more difficult to damage them with a bow. However there are three alternative methods by using a Taguel, Volant Axe, or Beast Killer instead with their lower defenses.
In this wave, the Dark Fliers come from the North West side, the Griffon Riders from the North East, Wyvern Lords from the South West, and Falcon Knights from the South East. Since the previous wave was fought in the northern part of the map, you can deal with the Dark Fliers and Griffon Knights alone for a good two turns before the Wyvern Lords and Falcon Knights arrive to the north. The Falcon Knights pack Fortify Staves so it is best to completely finish off each enemy to prevent them from being healed.
This is the final wave and it consists of all the enemies you have faced in the past 4 waves. You have a total of 25 enemies with a Hero as the final boss. The only new enemy you face in this wave are the Paladins. You will most likely still be in the northern portion of the map when this wave starts. Quickly make your way back down south towards the three stone mounds and use this terrain to your advantage. if you can force the enemy down the two narrow paths between each of the mounds, they are much easier to pick off and kill. If possible, keep everyone close to each other and prevent straying too far from each other. Have your main healer sit in the back with a Fortify or Physic stave to heal anyone at a moments notice. The enemy has 5 Fortify wielding units; 3 Falcon Knights and 2 War Clerics. It is best to take out the Falcon Knights over the War Clerics since they have better mobility and it is best to avoid having your units corralled by them and the other enemies. All other units can be dealt with the same way they were dealt with above. With a lot of good strategy, management, and luck, you can clear this wave in a matter of 6 or so turns.
It should be noted that the player has the option to go for the normal version instead if they choose to. The enemies are always the same, and you cannot pick which units you want to fight.
On this wave, Anna sets you up with 6 Berserkers, 6 Warriors and 6 Griffon Riders, who occupy the northern and eastern sides. 3 Griffon Riders will arrive at the top-left corner of the map, the other 3 will arrive in the bottom-right corner of the map and all have Pavise+. 3 Warriors will arrive at the top-center of the map and the other 3 will arrive slightly below the top-right corner of the map in the water and will all have Counter. 3 Berserkers will arrive at the top-right of the map, the other 3 will arrive in the middle-right part of the map all have Vengeance and Pavise+. For the most part, you main concern should be the Berserkers which all have Counter. Carefully approach these enemies to make sure not to receive any Counter damage.
On this wave, Anna sets you up with 5 Snipers, 5 Great Knights and 5 Tricksters, which arrive on the south-western area of the map. The 5 Snipers will arrive in the bottom-left corner of the map, the Great Knights above the snipers and the Tricksters to the right of the Snipers. There is one Sniper in the middle of the Sniper group who has Vantage+, Pavise+, Aegis+ and Luna+ along with a Brave Bow and higher stat caps compared to the other 4 Snipers. The other 4 Snipers will all have Counter, Luna+ and Vantage+ as well as all be armed with a Silver Bow. The 5 Tricksters will all have Vengeance, Pavise+, Anathema and Wrath. Three of the Tricksters will have Physic staves and the other 2 will have Recover staves. The Great Knights have various axes and lances, but the one north-west of the middle Knight has a Spear. All Great Knights having Hawkeye and Aegis+. The snipers should be the main concern on this wave. The leader of the snipers should be dealt with quickly as if he can deal incredibly high damage. Once he is taken care of the other 4 snipers should be the next big concern. Note that Vantage and Vantage+ only work when being attacked. A Mage class unit with Vantage and Vengeance, Celica's Gale and a pair-up unit with a high dual-strike rate and brave weapons/Celica's Gale can make quick work of the 4 snipers, as Dual-Strike damage is not affected by Pavise and Aegis damage cuts or Counter damage. Due to the snipers being surrounded in the forest, they will travel slower compared to the Great Nights and Tricksters allowing the player to take out the surrounding enemies and take on the Snipers.
On this wave, Anna sets you up with 3 Sorcerers, 5 Paladins and 5 Falcon Knights. The Paladins arrive at the central north area, the Falcon Knights in the central eastern and the Sorcerers in the middle of the map. The 3 Sorcerers all have Nosferatu as well as have Vantage and Miracle. The leader Sorcerer having higher stat caps compared to the other 2 Sorcerers as well as having Luna+ and Pavise+. The other 2 Sorcerers have Hawkeye and Vengeance. The 5 Paladins all have Sol, Pavise+, and Rightful God; the leader of the Paladins having higher stat caps compared to the other 4 Paladins, as well as has Aether and Hawkeye along with being armed with a Ragnell. The 5 Falcon Knights all have Aegis+ and Rightful God as well as 1 Catharsis staff. The leader of the Falcon Knights having higher stat caps compared to the other 4 Falcon Knights and have Aether and Hawkeye along with being armed with a Spear. The other 4 Falcon Knights having Ignis and various lances, one of which also has a Spear. The Sorcerers should be dealt with first, as they can deal heavy damage all while healing themselves. Note that the Sorcerers all have Vantage and not Vantage+, this allows the player to strike first however if half of their HP is depleted during a battle Vantage will kick in allowing them to strike next regardless. Also note that Vantage and Vantage+ only work when being attacked, so a player unit with Vantage can finish off a low HP Sorcerer without the worry of the enemy going first and healing if they are attacked during an enemy phase. While fighting the Paladins and Falcon Knights, the real worry is the leaders with Aether as Rightful God makes the activation rate rather high. The leaders of each group should be dealt with first.
On this wave, Anna sets you up with 6 Soldiers, 2 Snipers, 2 Tricksters, 3 Berserkers, 5 Dark Fliers and 5 Sages. Along with that, she gives you 10 turns (10 player phases and 9 enemy phases) to kill all the enemies before she calls a tie, ending the battle immediately. It should also be noted that For wave 4 your army will be repositioned back to the original starting point from when you started Apotheosis. The Soldiers, Snipers and Tricksters are set up where the Sorcerers were in the last wave, while the Berserkers are in the upper middle, the Sages in the north-eastern area and the Dark Fliers being in the north-western area. The Dark Fliers all have Mire tomes and another tome for 1-2 range damage as well as Aegis+, Galeforce, Shadowgift and Hawkeye. The Sages all have Catharsis staves and Celica's Gale tomes along with Luna+, Pavise+ , except the leader of the Sage group, which carries a Forseti tome instead. The Berserkers all have Counter, Aegis+ Luna+ and Hawkeye and are armed with a Tomahawk while also having a 99HP cap instead of the usual 80HP cap. The commander should be dealt with carefully as he has a Helswath axe and higher stat caps compared to the other 2 Berserkers. The Soldiers, Snipers and Tricksters should be dealt with first. The Dark Fliers should be the next concern due to their Mire tomes combo'd with Hawkeye. Depending on if you can safely take out a Berserker in one turn or not, take on either the Berserkers or the Sages. If you cannot take out a Berserker in one turn, the Sages will heal them.
On this wave, Anna sets you up with 5 Snipers, 6 Sorcerers along with 2 Berserkers and Anna herself. As with wave 4; Anna will give you a time limit, however instead of 10 turns you will have 7 turns (7 player phases and 6 enemy phases) to complete wave 5. The snipers arrive from the south, the Sorcerers from the east and west (3 on each side) and the Berserkers along with Anna where the 4th wave's commander was. Note that, similar to wave 4, you will be repositioned to the center of the map. Anna will have Vantage+, Counter, Aether and Rightful God along with being armed by default with a Spear and will also have a Brave Lance as a secondary weapon. The throne Anna sits on will also give her some stat boots while fighting if she remains on that tile. The 2 Berserkers will be identical to the Berserker commander in wave 4. The 6 Sorcerers will be identical to the 3 Sorcerers in wave 3 (each side respectively) and the 5 Snipers will be identical to the 5 Snipers from wave 2. The main issues on this wave will be the 2 Berserkers, Anna and the time limit. Anna will have a incredibly high chance of activating Aether and if given the chance she will go in for 1-range damage with her Brave Lance while avoiding 2-range attacks as much as possible.
Once you clear wave 5, Anna will award you the Supreme Emblem while congratulating you on conquering Castle Apotheosis.
- On the first wave on the Secret Set, the enemy's formation is not correct. In the upper central area, there are Warriors, while on the mid-eastern area there are Berserkers, and in the north-east is a mix of Warriors and Berserkers. The enemy Berserker in middle of the formation in the mid-eastern area is also carrying a Silver Bow, which the class cannot use. This may be an oversight by developers.
- This Xenologue features music from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones' final floor of Lagdou Ruins, the optional superdungeon which was needed to be completed three times to get the game's semi-final boss, Prince Lyon of Grado.
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