The laguz of Tellius are divided into different races based on the form of creature that they can transform into. In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, the tribes are divided into the beasts, or large felines, birds, and dragons. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn introduces a fourth laguz tribe in the wolf tribe.
The beast tribe makes its home in the nation of Gallia. Among the beasts, there are lions, tigers, and large cats. The beast tribe is weak against fire magic. From the start of Path of Radiance, the king of Gallia, Caineghis, is an ally of the beorc royal family of Crimea, but the same cannot be said for all of his people.
The bird tribes were, for many years, divided into three nations. The hawk clan of Phoenicis, the raven clan of Kilvas, and the heron clan of Serenes. However, after the herons were nearly annihilated in the Serenes Massacre, the ravens and hawks have allowed their fellow bird tribe members sanctuary. The bird tribes are weak against wind magic, and like all Fire Emblem flying units, weak against arrows and ballista shots. They have the capability to fly in both humanoid and animal forms. The members of the heron clan cannot attack, but they do have the ability to sing galdrar, allowing units that have already acted to act for a second time before a turn ends.
The dragons reside in the isolationist nation of Goldoa. Among them, there are red and white dragons, as well as the royal family of black dragons. Of all the laguz, the dragons have the longest average lifespan, which can stretch for hundreds of years. They have very strong attack power, but are in general very slow to move. They are weak against thunder magic.
The wolf tribe resides in Hatari, a nation far to the east of Daein on the other side of the Desert of Death. In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the wolf queen Nailah and her vassal Volug are the first two members of the clan to successfully cross the desert in centuries. Like the beast tribe, the wolves are weakest against fire magic.
In battle, each laguz unit has a transformation gauge that increases or decreases with each turn. When it is full, a humanoid laguz can shift into its animal form, and when it empties, the laguz is forced to revert to humanoid form. However, there are items that allow humanoid laguz to shift without a full transformation gauge, and a laguz equipped with a demi-band item can remain in laguz form indefinitely while taking a hit to their overall statistics. In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, laguz can learn the skill halfshift, which also allows them to remain transformed for the duration of a battle, but like the demi-band, usage of the skill brings a decrease in statistics. The members of laguz royalty come equipped with special bands that allow them to remain in beast form at all times with not hit to their statistics.
In Path of Radiance, laguz could not attack nor counter-attack in humanoid form, leaving them defenseless against attacks while not transformed. In Radiant Dawn, laguz in humanoid form have the ability to counter-attack with basic hand-to-hand combat strikes, but the damage done with these attacks is only a fraction of their strength in beast form.