In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the characters gain skill in alchemy through learning. So I'm wondering, is it possible to learn more than one alchemy? Because it seems like everyone is a specialized in particular alchemy. Also, if this possible, can they perform more than one alchemy at the same time?

  • Dude, that's, like, four whole alchemies!
    – Hakase
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


Yes! Absolutely, characters can learn more than one kind of alchemy. It's just that, as in real life, people tend to specialize in something very specific and get very good at it.

But let's take a look at a few examples:

  • Edward Elric: Like Alphonse, he takes after Izumi Curtis's style (including the big fists and such), but was able to attempt Human Transmutation, soul binding, modification of object structures (such as what he did in Youswell or in Greed), and even weird, quirky things like transforming a military vehicle into a clown car.
  • Roy Mustang: Specializes in flame alchemy, but is seen, most obviously at the end of the series, to be able to modify structures of objects (when he makes a wall out of the ground). To do this prior to his "accident", he would have had to draw the transmutation circle, which is obviously less effective.
  • Tim Marcoh: Specializes in medicinal alchemy, but did so even before he began to specialize in the creation and destruction of Philosopher's Stones.
  • Scar: Is able to perform both destruction and creation alchemy through different transmutation arrays.

Then there's a few oddballs, but the rule can still apply to them:

  • Van Hohenheim: Specializes in medicinal alchemy, but is also seen modifying object structures including metal and stone.
  • Father: Can do pretty much everything, even before the climax; he is able to make homunculi, reshape metal, etc.

Keep in mind that, similar to what @kaine said, transmutation circles come into play. Not just in knowledge, though; the person actually has to either have that transmutation circle with them or draw it on the spot, which is not feasible in combat. So, someone like Armstrong would not thrive at the same things as Basque Grand, because they both use different transmutation circles. This is clear with Mustang who broadens his use of alchemy after his "accident".

So from this, we can tell that it's possible for alchemists to learn more than one type of alchemy, but it's difficult for them to always apply it under pressure (for multiple reasons); given cases like Ed, who doesn't need transmutation circles, we can see a broader range of alchemy used.

  • So..can they use more than one alchemy at the same time? Or somehow combine them?
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 17:13
  • 2
    @ShinobuOshino I don't see why not. Ed performs numerous types of alchemy when transforming that clown car, I don't see why someone with knowledge of, for example, water and freezing alchemy couldn't make grand statues of ice.
    – Cattua
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 17:18
  • Also to add to this they all eventually switch to the eastern style at the end of brotherhood when Father switches off the energy from the mantle though you can argue they are still producing the same effects as before.
    – Quikstryke
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 19:12
  • @Quikstryke That's not true. Western style uses tectonic energy, which was blocked by Father prior to the end of the series. After this blockage stopped, the Westerners went back to using tectonic energy. There is no suggestion that the "dragon's pulse" of the East is in any way the same as this.
    – Cattua
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 19:39
  • Ah you are right about the battle. But doesnt negate the fact you cant use both which is essentially what scar's brother's research is on. Al also heads east in the hopes of trying to learn and incorporate it to restore his brother.
    – Quikstryke
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 14:39

Focusing on Edward, he does alchemy (at least) on metal, binds souls to armor, attempts human transmutation, repairs machines, changes carbon structure (in Greed), etc.

I believe that he does alchemy on what he feels useful. Everyone else is only limited by what circles they have already drawn (as they need transmutation circles to do alchemy) and their knowledge. In other words, they need to know the characteristics and how to draw the circles for what they are transmuting and what they are transmuting it from. For instance Mustang handles fire as that is what transmutation circle is on his gloves.

TLDR: No, they are not (usually) only limited to one type of transmutation but they have to have the circle and knowledge for any transmutation they are doing.

  • can they use more than one alchemy at the same time? Or somehow combine them? also, do one circle is just for one alchemy?
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 17:14

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