Fire Emblem: Three Houses Best House - Which Should You Choose?

The lords from Fire Emblem: Three Houses compete for Best House.
Dimitri, Claude, and Edelgard compete for Best House!

When you boot up Fire Emblem: Three Houses, it doesn’t take long for you to be faced with an important question: Which house do you want to be in charge of? This decision changes the entire course of the story, along with which characters you’ll be in charge of. While you can recruit units from other houses, the main ones in cutscenes will be from your house. 

So, what exactly are houses? To put it simply, each house is a specific class in the battle school of Garreg Mach Monastery, where most of the units come from a certain location in Fódlan. You have the Black Eagles with house leader Edelgard, heiress to the Adrestian Empire, the Blue Lions, run by Prince Dimitri of the Kingdom of Fhirdiad, and the Golden Deers, with Claude leading the Leicester Alliance. 

Here is a cohesive review and rundown of all three houses and which you should choose for your first playthrough. Yes, I said first, because once you play one route, you have to play all of them! However, your heart will yearn for your first house. Each house has their strengths and weaknesses, so make sure you choose wisely.


#1. Black Eagles

Byleth potentially choosing the Black Eagles.We contemplate the Black Eagles and their colorful heads of hair...

Edelgard von Hresvelg is in charge of the Black Eagles and a colorful cast of characters (literally, just look at their hair during cutscenes). They all come from the Adestrian Empire, save for Petra, who comes from the neighboring country of Brigid. Many of the characters are nobles and have high power and status in the Adrestian Empire. Not all do, which makes for some feeling out of place and the conflicts that come with that. 

Black Eagles is my personal favorite house for many reasons. One, Ferdinand happens to be my favorite character in the entire game. I know not everyone shares that sentiment. Naturally, I can be unbiased in helping you choose the house best for you.

The Black Eagles have two major strengths: The narrative-driven story it comes with and its cast of characters. First things first, you get Edelgard. She is an absolute beast on the battlefield with an axe. You don’t get to use her in other houses—Instead, you might be at her mercy! 

Not only does she have high growth rates, but her perspective is vital to the story. She is a very complex character you will want to learn about so you know why she does what she does throughout the game. Edelgard is driven by her desire to change traditions regarding crests, nobles, and status due to her traumatic backstory. 

Edelgard, along with all of the other characters, have unique stories which cause them to have intriguing interactions with their classmates. 

Aside from story matters, you start the Black Eagles with more magic users than other houses: Linhardt, Dorothea, and Hubert. You can change any character’s class, but this is something to keep in mind if you like using magic. 

Choosing Black Eagles actually gives you an option of two different stories and routes, with important choices deciding which path you go on. Without giving any spoilers, you’ll need to reach Byleth and Edelgard’s C+ support before Chapter 11. During your free time that month, speak to Edelgard and go with her. This will end your time for the week, so make sure you have done all you wanted to that day! This gives you a branching option a few chapters later.

One of the two routes is shorter than all of the others, coming in at only 18 chapters, as opposed to 21 or 22 like the other routes. That being said, it still takes about 40 hours to complete casually. Just because it’s shorter doesn’t mean it’s short! 

Black Eagles’ strengths:

  • Regardless of which house you choose, Edelgard is pretty prominent in the game. Choosing Black Eagles allows you to use her and learn about how she thinks.
  • While there is some event overlap in the other routes, choosing Black Eagles and Edelgard gives you a unique story you won’t see again.
  • Black Eagles come with a complex cast of characters. They all have their own motivations and tense relationships with each other that make the supports between them all the more entertaining. My personal favorite is Ferdinand and Hubert’s supports. You’ll want to watch them and see exactly why I like how their relationship changes over time. 
  • Speaking of Hubert, you only get to use him if you choose Black Eagles! He is extremely devoted to Edelgard and would never imagine leaving her side. He comes off as very creepy, but he is worth getting the chance to know.
  • You start your run in the Black Eagles off with a higher number of magic users. Magic users are helpful since they can hit from a space away, so that’s valuable if their defenses aren’t as high yet. 

Choose Black Eagles if…

  • You want to learn about Edelgard’s motivations. This is the only chance you get to do so!
  • You want your choices to impact how your story ends. There are two very pivotal non-battle moments where your choices directly dictate how you’ll spend the rest of your hours. 
  • You want to see how these characters find a way to come together. Most of them aren’t super friendly towards each other like in the other houses. 
  • If you have strong feelings for or against the Church of Seiros. Edelgard has strong feelings, and depending on what yours are, it might make your choices easier! 


#2. Blue Lions 

Byleth potentially choosing the Blue Lions.Versus the knightly Blue Lions...

The Blue Lions come from the Kingdom of Faerghus, led by Prince Dimitri. They are people of loyal knights that are tasked with defending the king. The entire group gets along for the most part, save for small quarrels here and there. However, everyone is united by a single goal, making the chemistry in the group work well. Unity is the heart of the Blue Lions house and route. 

When I played Blue Lions for the first time, I did not want to stop. I was so drawn into the character-driven story that followed Dimitri, his depression, and the metaphorical ghosts that follow him. 

Without giving any spoilers, there is a moment in the Blue Lions route where you cannot talk to Dimitri. All I wanted to do was invite him to tea and help him, but you must be patient. This might sound difficult, but coming from someone with little patience, it wasn’t! I was really sucked into the story that the Blue Lions came with. 

Not only that, but Sylvain, Ingrid, Felix, and Dimitri grew up together, yet now, Felix hates Dimitri and calls him a “boar.” You just want to know what happened and see if they can reconcile the relationship they used to have.

As much as I love the Blue Lions characters, they are much more average than some of the others. By average, I mean many of them are traditional nobles, and may seem stuffy until you get to know them. Then, there are characters like Sylvain, who is anything BUT stuffy! 

When you take skills into account, they are a pretty strong group. You immediately get Sylvain and Felix, some of the strongest non-leader units in the entire game, and Mercedes, who is a great healer. Not only that, but you get plenty of Heroes’ Relics. Dimitri, Sylvain, and Annette come with defensive relics, and Felix gets the Aegis shield. 

Blue Lions’ Strengths: 

  • Personally, the biggest strength is that you get the option to romance Dimitri if you play as the female main character. I know that everyone has their preferred Byleth ships, but Dimitri and Byleth have such a strong and important connection. Whether you choose to S support him or not, you can’t deny that!
  • The story is incredibly strong when choosing Blue Lions. Rather than focusing so much on the central conflict in Fódlan, it centers around the demons haunting Dimitri. This makes for a solid, character-driven arc that is perfect if you only plan on playing one house and one playthrough. 
  • The dynamics between the characters work well. While they don’t all get along all the time, their relationships are vital to the plot. 
  • There is important information that will dictate how you see Edelgard and her relationship with Dimitri that you only learn through Dimitri’s eyes (or, eye, sorry). 
  • The characters are traditional in the sense that they have clear roles. This doesn’t mean you can’t experiment, but it’s easy if you don’t want to. 

Choose Blue Lions if... 

  • You want a traditional cast of characters. They are much more average in given character archetypes, though they are still complex and interesting. 
  • You want a character-centered story. If you’d rather focus on characterization than a large war, this is definitely the route for you.
  • You want a more traditional Fire Emblem story. If you’re familiar with past Fire Emblem games, the tale that comes with the Blue Lions will be much more up your alley if you’re looking for something similar. 
  • You only want to play the game once. Since it is so focused on Dimitri, you aren’t left with as many questions about the world. Of course, I’d still suggest you go on to play multiple times. 
  • You think that you can fix him. We all think we can help the madman, right? 


#3. Golden Deer

Versus the common Golden Deer.

The Leicester Alliance isn’t like the Kingdom or Empire where they bow to a certain leader. Instead, it’s run by a league of nobles who use roundtable discussions to discuss what to do in times of war or before they make any political moves. 

House Riegan is the leading house of the Leicester Alliance, which Claude, leader of the Golden Deer, happens to be the heir to. Although, his existence causes a bit of a stir! You happen to have a lot of commoners in the Golden Deer as well, meaning this is your only chance to not be surrounded by nobles!

Golden Deer is known as the lore route. Claude is the kind of guy who is always asking questions. He wants to answer some of the mysteries about Fódlan. You also have the opportunity to learn more about territories outside of Fódlan, such as Almyra, which the other routes do not cover. 

Having a perspective of the world outside of Fódlan is an interesting and important perspective to have. While FE3H takes place in Fódlan and relies heavily on the politics of the area, it is important to know that there are surrounding countries with tense relationships.

As for the characters in Golden Deer, they are a wild lot. They are also not necessarily as dedicated to certain classes, meaning that you have the potential to train them in a handful of things. This is fun to experiment with; you can push Lorenz and Ignatz into magic if desired! And, of course, you get access to Claude, the strongest bow user in the game. Once you unlock his exclusive Barbarossa class, he snipes on the battlefield while riding on his special wyvern. 

Something to remember is that many of the characters in the Golden Deer have a longer range. They like to hit from afar and hang back to avoid getting damaged. Some characters, like Raphael have incredibly high HP, but that isn’t the case for everyone, like Lysithea. Keep their defenses and ranges in mind when positioning them on the battlefield. 

Golden Deer’s  Strengths: 

  • You get the strongest bow user in the game with Claude on your team. He gets access to the Heroes’ Relic Failnaught, which is tied to the Crest of Riegan. This is the only chance you get to use this weapon! Claude also has some secrets; now is your only time to learn about them. 
  • You have the opportunity to learn more about the lore of the world set up in the game. This gives you a fuller picture of what you are dealing with in other routes or helps you answer questions you might not have known you had!
  • Golden Deer takes a background approach to the story's central conflict. It is fascinating to see how Claude’s mind works as the master tactician! 
  • While all of the houses in FE3H have a great cast of characters, the Golden Deer are definitely a little zanier. They have a lot more common people, like Leonie and Raphael, rather than plenty of nobles like the other two houses. This allows for some great interactions between the characters as they just try to navigate everything they were thrust into. 
  • You can mold these characters into anything you like. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but if built right, you can try something new and unexpected. 
  • You automatically get Lysithea, one of the best magic units. She is known for one-shotting some of the toughest enemies, and you won’t have to waste effort trying to recruit her if you choose Golden Deer.

Choose Golden Deer if... 

  • You want to know more about the lore of the world created for FE3H. Not only will you learn about Fódlan, but you’ll learn about surrounding territories as well. 
  • You really like Claude. He’s definitely attractive, so now is your chance to S support him if you’re feeling him!
  • You like to play with the classes you put your characters into. While you can do this with any character, you might have more success in the Golden Deer.
  • You’re interested in a different political climate. Seeing as the Leicester Alliance follows different, less standard rules, you might want to see how exactly these roundtable discussions work. 


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After a long day of fighting demonic beasts, shadows, and exploring, Garth likes to sit down with his quil and write about his adventures.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
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