Rock, paper, sword.
Fire Emblem If will be the first game since the series’ debut to make major revisions to its weapon balancing.
The Japanese magazine Famitsu (via Gematsu) explained the changes. Throughout the series, swords have been strong against axes, axes against lances, and lances against swords. Fire Emblem If will put a wrinkle in it by introducing pairs of weapons that trump other pairs, for a greater variety of weapon types.
Now, swords and magic will beat axes and bows, axes and bows will beat lances and concealed weapons, and lances and concealed weapons will beat swords and magic. Weapon durability is also going to be removed in Fire Emblem If, so only staves will limit you to a certain number of uses.
The magazine also revealed a handful of new characters: Felicia, a maid; Joker, a butler; Gunther, a great butler; Kagerou, a shinobi; Suzukaze, and Saizou. Felicia, Joker, Gunther, and Suzukaze will be allies in both versions, while Saizu and Kagerou are only allies in the White Night Kingdom version. Those job titles are important, as maids, butlers, and shinobi will be the ones to use the new concealed weapons.
Fire Emblem If will be released in two versions: White Kingdom and Black Kingdom. White will be the easier of the two versions, and the two will feature variations on the story, with differing allies and weapons.