Box art - Fire Emblem: Three Houses

How to Get the Dark Seal in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Unlock Dark Mage and Dark Bishop Classes

At long last, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is out now, exclusively on Nintendo Switch. The latest edition in the long-running strategy-RPG series changes the formula up a bit, including how to change classes. There are many different classes in the game, but Fire Emblem: Three Houses Dark Seal classes might just be the most difficult ones to unlock. You’ll need a Dark Seal in order to unlock both the Dark Mage and the Dark Bishop classes in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Thankfully, we’re here to let you in on how to get Dark Seals, which will require some skill on your part, so please, pay attention class.

Warning: Some spoilers below.

What does the Dark Seal do in Fire Emblem: Three Houses?

Fire Emblem Three Houses Received Dark Seal

As stated above, you will need to get hold of different Seals in order to change and upgrade your characters’ classes in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. There are a few different types of Seals that you can unlock, but the most difficult to find appear to be the Dark Seals. Unfortunately, you will need to have a Dark Seal in order to upgrade any male Mage character into first a Dark Mage and then you’ll need another Dark Seal to upgrade your Dark Mage into a Dark Bishop.

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The only two classes you will need a Dark Seal for are the Dark Mage and Dark Bishop. You’ll need one Dark Seal for Dark Mage, unlike other Intermediate Classes that just require an easy to obtain Intermediate Seal. The Dark Mage requires a C in Reason to ensure a 100% chance of passing their Certification Exam. You’ll want to make extra sure the character you want to become a Dark Mage meets this qualification as you’ll still use a Dark Seal even if they fail.

There are at least three Dark Seals in the game that you can get hold of. Unfortunately, you’ll need to either defeat or steal from the ludicrously powerful Death Knight in order to get your hands on them.

How to unlock Dark Mage and Dark Bishop with the Dark Seal in Fire Emblem: Three Houses

While you will definitely want to get hold of a couple of Dark Seals, you won’t enjoy what you need to do in order to unlock them, and therefore the classes they unlock. As stated above, seemingly the only way to get hold of Dark Seals in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is to either defeat the exceedingly powerful Death Knight or to steal one from him. The trouble is, the Death Knight only seems to appear a few times during the run of the game. As far as we’re aware, you’ll only encounter the Death Knight three times during the first half of the game. This means that there are only three Dark Seals in this part of Three Houses.

To unlock the Dark Seal classes, you must have a male Mage that is at least level 10 to upgrade to a Dark Mage. Once they are, take them through a Certification Exam. This will use up one Dark Seal. If they pass the exam, they will become a Dark Mage. Get them up to level 20 as a Dark Mage and you can go through the same thing again to turn your character into a Dark Bishop. Those Dark Seals are useful, but you’ll need to get hold of them first. We’ll tell you how to defeat or steal from the Death Knight down below.

Unique traits of the Dark Mage and Dark Bishop in Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem Three Houses Dark Mage

The Dark Mage and Dark Bishop classes are the ones most focused on negative status effects in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. They go beyond the regular Mage and Bishop in that in addition to damage, their attacks usually do poison damage or drain HP.

The Dark Mage skills are:

  • Miasma Delta: A mid-level magical attack.
  • Heartseeker: Enemies adjacent to the Dark Mage suffer an Avo penalty of -20.
  • Class Mastery: Poison Strike: If the Dark Mage initiates combat and lands a hit, the foe will lose up to an additional 20% of their max HP after combat is resolved.

The Dark Mage is very useful in the first quarter of the game. It’s the strongest offensive magic user in the Intermediate Class group. Poison Strike is not only a great damage booster for the Dark Mage, but if you take the time to master the class you can equip it independently of a character’s job.

Fire Emblem Three Houses Dark Bishop

The Dark Bishop is just a more powerful form of the Dark Mage. To switch to it, you must be at least level 20 and have an Advanced Seal and have already unlocked the Dark Mage class with at least one character.

The Dark Bishop skills are:

  • Miasma Delta: A mid-level magic attack. If you have already acquired it, this will increase your chances of doublecasting.
  • Fiendish Blow: If your unit initiates combat they have a bonus of Mag +6 until combat resolves.
  • Heartseeker: Enemies adjacent to the Dark Mage suffer an Avo penalty of -20.
  • Class Mastery: Lifetaker: After defeating an enemy, unit recovers an amount of HP equivalent to 50% of the amount of damage dealt.

The Dark Bishop has quite a bit of utility, especially if you’re advancing a unit from the Dark Mage class. If so, you’ll find your unit’s Miasma casting abilities significantly increased, and with the Fiendish Blow skill, they’ll be more powerful. The combination of Poison Strike, Heartseeker, and Lifetaker will make your unit a dark magic powerhouse, especially if you move them up to a Dark Knight. You can kill enemies quick with Poison Strike and an enhanced chance of casting Miasma, Heartseeker lets you do it from afar without worrying about missing, and Lifetaker will replenish your health with each enemy you take out.