A Special Skill is a unique skill that most units have. Each special skill has a turn count of 1 through 5. Special Skills with a lower turn count activate faster. Certain Special Skills share a similar effect or name (ex: Chrom, Lucina, Marth, etc.).
Some units do not have a Special Skill
However, not every unit has a Special Skill. Units with no Special Skill usually have other skills that are strong enough to compensate.
In order to use a Special Skill, the turn count needs to reach 0. When the turn count reaches 0, the unit will automatically activate it.
There are three actions that help reduce the turn count of a Special Skill.
- Attack an enemy (Including counter and double-attack).
- Use a healing skill.
- Attacked by an enemy unit.
The weapon skill that allows you to attack twice such as Brave Lance, accelerates the use of a Special Skill. At the cost of losing Spd, if you attack an enemy unit twice and execute a counter attack, you can decrease the turn count by 3!
The weapon skill "Killer Lance" will grant you -1 Special Skill Count every time you attack an enemy. This means that if you attack/double-attack or become engaged by an enemy unit, you can activate a Special Skill every turn.
The count will be indicated with blue if it's -1.
There are also skills that increase the Special Skill Count, lowering your chances to utilize them. Even if the Special Skill is powerful, units with a lower turn count Special Skill or reduce cooldown skill, can deal more damage overall.
However, to compensate for the increased cooldown, these skills tend to have strong effects. Nowi, is a unit that has one of these skills that increase Special Skill cooldown, but since she doesn't have any Special Skill, there is no disadvantages to using it.
Units with high defense and resist can activate their Special Skill faster. These units are able to receive more attacks from enemy units, reducing their Special Skill Count. Hector is a great example of this. He has a high defense stats with a skill that allows him to counter attack regardless of enemy position, decreasing his Special Skill Count faster.
In order to activate a Special Skill, the unit must use actions (Attack, Use Skill, or take damage from an enemy). By using a Special Skill, you gain advantages enabling your unit to defeat enemy units that are stronger than yours. Knowing how many times you can engage battle without dying and managing turn count is very important.
Weapons that can reduce the cooldown of Special Skills are very useful. Weapons that also grant units to attack twice helps reduce Special Skill Count.
Keep in mind that enemy units can also use their Special Skills. Checking an enemy's Special Skill will allow you to plan ahead to counter and realize what's strong or weak against them.