On Thursday, September 21st, Fire Emblem Cipher released its 10th booster series! Entitled Crossroads, the set features characters from three games, two of which yet to be represented in Cipher: Thracia 776 and Fire Emblem Heroes. The remainder of the cards see a return to Fates, with particular focus on the ‘Heirs of Fates’ DLC storyline.
WARNING: Some of the cards included in this set contain story or character spoilers for Thracia and Fates. If you have not yet finished either game and wish to remain unspoiled, proceed with caution!
The first half of S10 is dedicated to Thracia 776. As Thracia takes place on the same continent and in the same storyline as Genealogy of the Holy War, both games’ cards share the same yellow border and faction.
Leif is the main Lord of the game, and is therefore also the Thracia section’s main character. His canonical love interest, Nanna, also appears with him in the beginning of the set. Both get regular SR cards, but they also enjoy a beautiful joined-art image in their SR+ cards, drawn by Rika Suzuki.
Since Thracia does not have any voice acting for signatures, all of the + cards in the set are alternate art reprints, similar to Leif and Nanna above. Many of them, like Tina below, are simply alternate drawings of the character by the same artist. Eyvel’s R+ is somewhat unique in that it shows her during a particular event in the story, when she is turned to stone by Veld during the events of chapter 5.
As is typical for a game’s debut set, many of the cards in the beginning of the set feature characters from Thracia‘s early game. Almost all of the characters from Fiana get cards, including those listed above as well as Finn, Orsin, Halvan, Tanya, and Mareeta. Finn also gets the 3rd SR of the set, compared to him only getting an R in S6.
As is fitting in a game where Staff usage is so important, many Clerics are represented. Nanna, Safy, Tina, and Sara all get cards in the set, which ties with Red all the way back in S1 for the most staff users printed in a single set section! Two of those also promote into SR cards, though as usual, none of them retain Staff Affinity after promotion.
Many of the remaining cards are given to characters who otherwise appear early on in the game. Ronan, Lifis, Fergus, Karin, Machua, Lara, Asbel, and Shiva are all recruited by Chapter 7, and along with the previously listed characters, we already have the bulk of the game’s represented characters.
The rest of the Thracia section contains a somewhat eclectic assortment of characters. Olwen gets both an N and an SR card, likely at least in part because of her appearance in Heroes. Her brother Reinhardt, however, is not represented in the set at all.
Diarmuid, Altenna, and Seti also get cards in the set, despite not playing a large role in Thracia in particular. However, they all have strong narrative connections, with Diarmuid being Nanna’s brother, Altenna as Leif’s sister, and Seti due to his overall importance in the Jugdrali storyline.
Finally, we also get cards for both Dean and Misha, the latter even snagging the final SR slot. Likely the cards were primarily included to add in additional Yellow flier support, similar to Mahnya’s appearance back in S6.
Fire Emblem Fates
The middle section of the set is given to characters from Fates. Since many of these cards are based on the ‘Heirs of Fates’ storyline from the DLC, the male and female versions of Kana take the starring role. Their SR versions share a joined-art together, with the + versions including a foil signature from their respective voice actors!
If you look at the left side of those cards, you might note something interesting: both Kanas also have both the Hoshido and Nohr faction symbols. Indeed, this set introduces a new dual faction mechanic! The N card for Shigure shows this off better, with both coloured borders surrounding the card’s artwork.
Almost all of the remaining Fates cards of the are given to children characters. Shiro, Kiragi, Siegbert, and Forrest all get cards featuring art of their fathers, and also wielding their fathers’ legendary weapons.
Shigure and Azura also share beautiful joined-art R+ cards together.
Other children characters represented include Selkie, Asugi, Caeldori, Rhajat, Ophelia, Nina, Soleil, and Velouria. Most of them represent their original faction, but Selkie and Velouria share a particular cute dual faction, joined-art with their R cards wearing each other’s outfits!
A few more cards are given to the small number of Fates characters that have not yet seen inclusion in Cipher: Izana, Hans, and Iago. With this, now all playable Fates characters have Cipher cards, in additional to a large number of NPCs.
Both male and female versions of Corrins also get cards in this set, including SRs. Their unpromoted cards show them transforming into their dragon forms, while the SRs have them wielding their dragonstones in human form.
Finally, the last Fates card goes to the human form of Anankos, shown in a rather menacing pose. He, too, gets a dual faction card, compared to his White and Black versions in S6 and S7.
Fire Emblem Heroes
The very end of the set is given to Fire Emblem Heroes. Although Heroes contains many playable characters from across the various FE games, Cipher only included the Heroes original characters in this set. As the main lord, Alfonse gets the leading spot in this section, including an SR card.
Heroes cards introduce a new colourless mechanic, featuring cards without colour or insignia. This makes them easily splashable into any colour deck, which makes sense, given the nature of the Heroes game.
His sister Sharena also gets three cards, though only an R for her final version. You may notice that neither she nor Alfonse actually gets a promoted card, just an increased cost for more powerful cards. This matches how other non-promoting units have been handled in Cipher in the past.
The remaining cards are given to the other three Heroes original characters: Anna, Bruno, and Veronica. Veronica gets a rather gorgeous SR card as the standard villain SR for S10.
Surprisingly enough, Bruno gets the secret card for this set! His N+X card follows the pattern set by Delthea N+X of S9. It features new artwork of him, this time shirtless to reflect his damaged artwork within the game, and a unique foil pattern.
Other + cards in the Heroes section include signed versions of the SR or R cards for Alfonse, Sharena, and Bruno.
New Cipher Mascots
S10 also saw the introduction of two new Cipher Mascots: Alice and Valjean! They hail from Zenith, the world of Fire Emblem Heroes, and appear as colourless cards for their unpromoted versions. Alice is a young noble lady, and Valjean is her armoured butler. In addition to appearing on cards, they also take part in the Cipher Frontier column on the Cipher website.
They each also get a promoted card this set as well. Alice gets a black/white dual faction card as a Stretegist for her promotion. Valjean visits Jugdral and becomes an Armoured Sword.
Series 10 Promotional Items
S10 continues the trend of including a bunch of promotional goodies within booster boxes. Each box contains a promo sleeve pack, a preview promo card, and an anniversary reprint promo. There are two designs of each, included in each box randomly.
The promo sleeve packs are based on two of the three games represented in the set. One features the original box art for Thracia 776. The other uses a piece common promotional artwork for Heroes. Each pack contains five sleeves.
The preview promo cards for S11 go to the twin lords of The Sacred Stones: Ephraim and Eirika. S11 releases this December, and it features the first inclusion of TSS cards in Cipher! It will also include characters from Shadows of Valentia and Fire Emblem Warriors.
The anniversary reprint promos are of Felicia and Flora. Both cards were originally given out to attendees of last summer’s Cipher Caravan Events. The reprint promos are the same card, but now with a holofoil finish! They also include a 2nd Anniversary stamp in the upper right.
In addition to the box promos, there was also another release promotion in Japan. Participating retailers were giving out sticker sheets customers who purchased eight or more Cipher booster packs starting on September 21st.
There are two different sticker designs, with each design having three different sheets. Different retailers each had different designs. AmiAmi is giving out the green version of the sheets to those who order from their international service.
S10 Promotional Cards
We’ve also had a few promotional cards already revealed for S10. As usual, the first two promo cards of the set are the preview promos shown above. The next six promos are Tournament Promo cards.
The first two promos, Shannam and Male Corrin, are completely new cards. Finn, Mareeta, Nina, and Female Corrin, however, are simply alternate art reprints of their S10 cost 1 cards. This means that Witch Corrin is, sadly, not actually a Witch; it’s just a costume.
Each player who participates in an official Cipher tournament receives one pack that contains two of these cards chosen randomly, and winners receive an extra pack. Since these cards are only available to tournament participants, they cannot be bought from regular online retailers. However, they’re often resold on Japanese auction sites.
There’s been no word yet on any further promos for S10. None were released in the recent issue of Nintendo Dream, and Dengeki Nintendo did not have an issue this month. If any further promos are announced, magazine or otherwise, we’ll be sure to share!
In the meantime, if you’re interested in discussing Cipher with other fans, come visit the Fire Emblem TCG section of the forums! You’re welcome to ask questions, get help with card rulings, post your pulls, trade/buy/sell cards, or arrange for online matches.