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Fire Emblem Cipher: Series 12

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The battles rage on across the lands of Tellius, Ylisse, and Jugdral in the upcoming expansion of Fire Emblem Cipher, the Fire Emblem trading card game!


The Fire Emblem Cipher TCG is a collectible card game based on the Fire Emblem series by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems. Though it has only been available in Japan and there's no word on an official English release, it is regularly updated with new sets and rules which keep it interesting for fans to talk about.


Series 12 is the upcoming expansion releasing on March 22, and will include one new booster pack featuring characters from the titles Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn, Awakening, and Genealogy of the Holy War. The focus of this topic is on this particular set, but is also open to having any other discussion pertaining to the TCG in general.


Getting Started


Despite the TCG only being available in Japanese, there are a number of resources made available by fans in English which provide information on what you need to know in order to collect the cards or even how to play the game. The best source, in my opinion, is the wiki guide written here, though you can also refer to the information on the official site linked above, albeit in Japanese.





  • New collectors who want to own specific cards of their favorite characters should get an idea of how much they individually go for at the local retailers and try to buy/trade for them within the second hand market (fellow fans in various communities). This is generally more cost friendly than the easy route of buying them off online retailers like eBay, Amazon, or TCG Republic, so you can get a lot of mileage from doing research and knowing what's out there and at what prices. If you want to import sealed starter decks, boosters, or sleeves, I recommend buying through AmiAmi.
  • New players can try owning any of the available starter decks to help them with learning, which are ready to play and are all suitable for introducing the game. Online simulators with English translations of all the cards are out there too! The one shared on the wiki is pretty popular, although I personally prefer playing with FECipherVit.
  • New sets are released every few months and new promo cards are regularly distributed during the interims through various means (events, magazines, etc.), so there's constantly new stuff to glean over.
  • If you really like the art, know that many illustrators of the card artwork tend to publicly upload the full illustrations via Twitter or Pixiv, usually after the release of a new set. Some might not be available though.

Card Sets


Series 12 will be out on March 22, but there have already been hundreds of different cards released since the TCG started in 2015, with each set focusing on specific groups of Fire Emblem titles.


For a full list of cards, you can check them out here, or search the wiki.


Series 13, which is confirmed to feature characters from the titles Shadow Dragon, Blazing Blade, and Heroes, will release later this year!


Basic Rules


In Fire Emblem Cipher, two players wage battle against each other using their army of characters, with the ultimate goal of claiming victory by defeating the opposing army's leader in combat until they can no longer be sustained by their five orbs.


Each army's deck needs at least 50 cards to engage in battle, and unlike some other card games, running out of cards to draw from your deck just means you have to replenish your deck with all the cards left in your retreat to continue the battle, meaning the victory condition is all you have to focus on.


Game Flow


Each turn consists of these actions in the following order, which are divided into their own phases:

  1. Drawing a card from your deck
  2. Adding a card from your hand to the bond row
  3. Deploying units from your hand to the battlefield
  4. Attacking enemies, activating skills, or repositioning your units

This goes back and forth between both players until one emerges as the battle's victor!


Card Details




Here's a quick rundown on what everything means on any card:

  • Unit name - The name of the character depicted on the card. With the epithet, constitutes the card name.
  • Epithet - A title distinguishing the unit from other different cards they may have. With the unit name, constitutes the card name.
  • Power - A measure of the unit's strength when engaged in combat.
  • Aid - A measure of the unit's strength when assisting an ally in combat.
  • Range - Indicates how far the unit can attack in relation to their position on the battlefield.
  • Class - Represents the unit's class and how seasoned they are.
  • Skills - Normal skills the unit possesses, which grant various abilities.
  • Assist skills - A type of skill which may only be activated when the unit is assisting an ally in combat.
  • Field cost - The number of bonds needed to deploy the unit from your hand to the battlefield.
  • Class change cost - The number of bonds needed to promote the already deployed unit to this card.
  • Symbol - Denotes the unit's associated faction and color.
  • Gender - The gender the unit is identified as.
  • Weapon - The type of weapon the unit uses in combat.
  • Types - Additional attributes of the unit if any, such as if they are a flier or armored.

Further details on how the game plays can be found on the wiki.


If there's anything you want clarification on, whether about the rules of the game or anything else regarding the cards, you're welcome to ask here!

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It's been a busy week for me, but the new topic to talk about FE Cipher is finally here, and just around the corner they should be starting card reveals on the official Twitter also, so it works out well.


I'd like to take the time to share some recent findings and developments about the TCG that have sprung up lately but I haven't yet gotten around to doing so. Hopefully this will help get everyone up to speed and on the same page.



Of course, not only should this coming week provide a look at some of the new cards in the set, but Intelligent Systems is once again planning to host their regularly scheduled livestream broadcast for Winter 2018 to showcase the latest and upcoming happenings with the TCG, which will air this Saturday. The main topic will naturally be about Series 12, but they've already announced they'll be also be covering the topic of the Cipher Sai 2018 event next month, and they could potentially show off any new art for the forthcoming Series 13 as well. There's also a mysterious silhouette for an unidentified character in one of the related images, so in all likelihood a new original character is probably making their debut this set.


Personal note: Due to my current schedule, I won't be watching this broadcast live or have much time to really discuss its contents soon after, but I'll make an effort to put my thoughts about it here whenever I get the chance. @kizuna_fecipher on Twitter regularly livetweets all the interesting stuff from these though, so it's worth remembering to check out.




Next, I'd like to briefly touch on the topic of Cipher Sai 2018. It's back for its third year and will be host to a variety of activities and merchandise for sale, such as a playmat of the image above, which I simply can't ignore because it's really amazing. The illustration appears to be done by Yusuke Kozaki, the illustrator renown for his existing work on the series. Presumably this artwork of the character Lucina will be a pair of cards for this set, but we've yet to see the cards proper.


Anyway, the full details of the event are provided effectively in this article here, but I'd like to point out that one of the images for the signings is of Eldigan, whose artwork hadn't been ever shown off before, and I have to say it looks pretty cool, I like it. This event also marks the first distribution for marker cards of Summer Sharena and Summer Corrin, as well as a marker card for the event itself using its key visual for the design. All in all, there's a lot being offered here.



Meanwhile, one FE Cipher artist, Mayo, recently shared this piece of Summer Sharena, who they did the official card for. Not only that, but they later followed up with a process video showing how they created it. Though this art technically isn't official, it's nonetheless an interesting look at one side of FE Cipher that one rarely gets seen.



Finally, when it comes to other FE Cipher artists who've lately shared their full artworks, Cherokee uploaded their illustrations of Forde from Series 11 just last week. Better late than never! Beyond that, I personally haven't seen anything else new.




That about sums up everything I've been wanting to say about FE Cipher for a while. I'm more than happy have the TCG come back with a new set, and am looking forward to the new cards we'll be seeing soon.

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I haven't been following Twitter much lately due to Chrome issues, so thanks for linking the Forde art!


I'm definitely expecting S12 cards to start being revealed... probably in 39 minutes. :P


I'll also be watching and capping the livestream this Saturday, so you can check that out if you'd like afterwards.

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That's what I get for guessing the time; of course they release the card early today. :P


Looks like Ike is both the main Lord of the Tellius section (as expected) and it falls in the beginning of the set.



Edited by L'Arachel

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That new Ike card looks amazing. It already looked good from the booster pack image, but the full art is great as a whole. Nice to see them have Senri Kita reprise for the illustration too.


It's also a nice alternative to the original cost 1 that Ike has had since Series 3. While that card was tailored for the growth mechanic, this Ike is more of a duelist and needs to fight to keep up. I'm curious how Chrom and Eldigan will change things up for themselves.


Also, I'm guessing this is reconfirming that the medallion art is definitely not for a card but just serves as a key visual for the set, since I don't think they'd post it as it is at this point if it was going to be one. Not personally disappointed, but it's nice to see it again.

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And today's reveal is Eldigan by the lovely Rika Suzuki! Also another livestream post, but it doesn't seem like there's any actual new info, so probably just a reminder.



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Wow, I honestly wasn't anticipating two Eldigan cards to be shown today, but that's great.


I also wasn't expecting the existing Eldigan art to be for a cost 3, so it's a pleasant surprise it actually is for one and Eldigan has something else for his cost 1.


I do like the trend they have in FE Cipher where the character's age and appearance corresponds to the card's effective level; I think Eldigan looks noticeably more younger in his first card than his second. Compounding the fact that they're both done by the same artist makes it impressive to see this difference.

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This really interests me! I think we might've already had an idea that they were going to make cards focus on the Valm arc of FE Awakening, but this definitely sells it further.


Not just with the fact that Walhart finally makes his debut as a playable character whom players can even build a deck around, but his and Chrom's skills are specifically tailored to fight one another, and only each other. It's fun to see how they illustrate their conflicts as depicted in the original game with these cards.

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Wow, so they've new cards for Elena and Greil, the former who's never had a card before (or much of anything, really). I know Elena's made a few cameos in the TCG before, but seeing them go out of their way to have her get her own card is a pleasant surprise. The illustration is joined art between the two; they go together, and depict them in a time of their younger days. I personally suspect they may get more cards as well, not just these two.

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The first SR reveal is a card of Ike in an unprecedented form: that of being under the influence of the medallion, granting him immense power causing him to easily destroy his foes. On the other hand, this also requires him to sacrifice his own allies as he fights, an equal cost to the price he pays.


You can see by the card number that there is likely another SR preceding this one, so I'm thinking Ike could potentially get a second SR, kind of like how Chrom did in Series 8. There appears to be a similar theme going on where Ike's fate goes two ways, one good and one evil.


The livestream should be happening tomorrow, can't wait for it to come by!

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About the new original character, I'm under the impression that she had actually first debuted in the special talk CD from Comiket, but this would otherwise be her first appearance. I thought that was interesting.


The new Vanguard Ike SR is pretty awesome. He's currently tied with Anankos with requiring the most bonds to deploy at 7, but Ike is a little more unique in that his attack power's directly dependent on the number of cards in his stack times ten (which he would gain from having leveling up and class changing over the course of the game). This is similar to the conditional support values from Series 7, but this would be the first card in the TCG which has X attack power. Along with free range from Ragnell so long as he's front and center and and an infinite ability to keep fighting over and over so long as he defeats his foes, he's powerful endgame card. Without a doubt, Ike is definitely leaving with great cards to play from this set.


It's also nice to see a few more new faces from Tellius debut in FE Cipher, like Tauroneo and Sephiran. Zelgius does exactly what I'd hope he do and have compatibility with the existing Black Knight cards.


I have mixed feelings on the new cards for Chrom and Naga. On one hand, I think it's awesome there's even joined art of them doing the Awakening ritual in the first place, and that Naga herself is being made a playable character. On the other hand, I'm personally not too excited over Chrom's new card effects because they're nothing like I anticipated and the card doesn't fit into any deck ideas I have. He basically functions as a makeshift healer but doesn't really excel at it either, but at least he maintains a Falchion effect. Naga is conversely a more interesting card who doesn't fight but can work as an alternative tool in late game to class change someone in a pinch and also rally the whole army (an effect we haven't seen in a long time, I think since Series 5). I'm also a bit miffed these Chrom's new card only appears to be an R and not an SR like Eldigan or Ike, and that he might not even get an SR. I'm hoping that this R has alternative artwork that also looks nice.


Anyway, it's nice to see that they've actually completed the playable FE Awakening roster here in FE Cipher. Nice to see Lissa finally get an SR too. Lon'qu is actually the promoted Wyvern Lord which is unexpected but is an interesting diversion.




Eldigan SR is today's card, and it's worth noting that the lion in the background was actually the illustrator's idea, Rika Suzuki, and not something Intelligent Systems suggested. I think it fits very well here though.


The other yellow cards are fine, my personal favorite is the new Sigurd, but it's also nice that they're adding additional substitute characters too.


For Series 13, I'm pretty satisfied with how it's turning out so far. It's a pleasant surprise to see they're bringing a new starter deck based on FE Blazing Blade with this set, which will be nice to see how it turns out. My favorite art from it has to be the new Marth, mainly because of the background helps paint the setting that it's him right before embarking at Talys, or at least that's how I imagine it. I quite like Fjorm's art too.


Series 14 is intriguing because I don't recall if there's been a set that's been introduced that way or not. Simply saying its theme is mugen instead of announcing its titles seems to have contributed to the speculation that it may be the debut set for FE Switch, which I think is totally possible. Alternatively, perhaps it's a set that truly isn't focused on any particular title, and could be a mishmash of characters they want to include from any and all existing colors. Details are really scarce at the moment so there's not too much to take away from it, but I'm curious as to how that one will unfold.

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I'm definitely expecting something new with S14, whether that new is a mish-mash of colours like you suggest, or perhaps cards from the upcoming FE Switch. It's definitely a weird announcement. The only other announcement I remember being similar weird was a previous set (I don't remember which one, sadly), where they announced all 3 included games/titles separately in different occasions.

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A proper look at Lissa's new cards this set. As a Cleric, she offers a new buff to support the army's leader as they fight, and overall I feel like it's better than the one from the very first set. As mentioned before, she gets her first SR as a Sage, where she has an advanced healing technique involving the player's orbs and gets even stronger as other allies class change.




In addition, next month's special marker cards have been revealed! For characters from the most recent set, Amelia, Leon, Rowan, and Lianna will have new marker cards available.

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Today's reveal confirms that Soren will be making an appearance this set with two cards! Both are illustrated by Saori Toyota. Like other mages, Soren can swap cards between the hand and retreat in order to gain card advantage, and also incorporates Ike's way of fighting by staying on the front lines to gain extra power.

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Ares returns in FE Cipher! Son of Eldigan, he wields the Demon Sword Mystletainn in battle. His abilities range from self buffing, double breaking, and pulling foes closer, heavily relying on setting cards as bonds, but if played well, he can run efficiently! Eldigan in particular really appreciates having a card likes this Ares around.

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I love it! Kokon Konfuzi really nailed both arts. I had a feeling she was going to appear in the set based on card numbers, so it's nice to see it happen.


I've noticed she plays fairly similar to one of the more recent Frederick cards (particularly being able to be deployed very early under the right conditions), which has me wondering if this is actually an archetype at play.

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16 minutes ago, Chrom said:

I've noticed she plays fairly similar to one of the more recent Frederick cards (particularly being able to be deployed very early under the right conditions), which has me wondering if this is actually an archetype at play.

Hah, that definitely sounds like a reference to the Jagen/Oifey Archetype.

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