Man, Intelligent Systems has been relentless with their updates for Fire Emblem Heroes lately.
Not that I can necessarily complain about new content coming so frequently, but a lot of it has been serious enough for me to bring onto the blog. Which is something I told myself I would be doing less of to preserve a little more of my precious sleep.
Plus, I suppose having to focus so much on Heroes did make me miss the full February reward window for ranked duels in Duel Links… But it could be argued that school contributed to that too, so I won’t blame anything too heavily for that.
It doesn’t seem like things are going to slow down anytime soon in this mobile masterpiece, as we’ve been made aware of a big gameplay update coming in early March. An update which will finally include a legendary weapon upgrade for Eirika, my current main-stay Summoner bonded unit.
Speaking of Eirika, she makes a perfect segue into our topic of the day:
A new Legendary Hero has arrived, this time steeped in the almighty power of the Lords of Cinder.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t played a lot with the elemental blessings system that was introduced alongside Fjorm and Book II, but with a new game mode coming soon and missions focused around the mechanic happening now I’ll have to do some more dabbling.
Luckily, our newest legendary hero is Eirika’s brother Ephraim. And I love him. And I want to use him. So I’m going to talk about him.
- Ephraim – Legendary Lord
- This legendary hero comes with an alteration of his main weapon called the Flame Siegmund. It offers Ephraim a +3 attack boost and ensures that he gets guaranteed follow-up attacks if there are more enemies within range than allies. He also has Sol as a special attack, which allows him to absorb 50 percent of the damage he does. That Sol attack stacks with his special Solar Brace skill that allows him to absorb an extra 30 percent. His Sturdy Stance grants him a +4 attack and defense boost if attacked, and he fortifies his adjacent allies with +4 defense at the beginning of each turn.
Let me level with you for a minute, Ephraim’s skills are a mixed bag. His weapon, the healing potential and the extra stat points he gains when attacked sound awesome. Especially considering the Solar Brace can be used with any other special attack. You could give him an attack that Buffs his attack to sky-high levels, and he’ll heal off a bunch of that damage.
However, he is missing a good C skill and movement skill. Also, I feel like his weapon’s special attributes are screaming for a Distant Counter to hit enemies from up close and afar with guaranteed follow-up strikes.
At the same time he does make up for that with the mobility and lore tie-in of his cavalier status, as well as the HP/DEF boost he can give to an ally who has been blessed.
Thinking I might give Eirika a fire blessing once we can upgrade her weapon. That way the siblings can sweep aside all enemies in their path together.
Just like every other Legendary Hero banner, Ephraim’s comes alongside a number of additional five star special heroes to summon with an eight percent chance.
These heroes are:
- Summer Corrin – Novice Vacationer
- Shiro – Raw Talent
- Gunnthrá – Voice of Dreams
- Brave Hero Ike – Brave Mercenary
- Dorcas – Serene Warrior
- Summer Gaius – Thief Exposed
- Performing Arts Olivia – Festival Dancer
- Jaffar – Angel of Death
- Legendary Hero Ike – Vanguard Legend
- Summer Leo – Seashore’s Prince
- Mia – Lady of Blades
I have a bit of a hero summoning adventure to go over, but before I do I think I’ll take the time to discuss the other part of today’s small update.
For a time, there was a special anniversary event where players all across the world could vote for one hero that everyone would receive for free.
To make that long story short, the hero chosen by the Fire Emblem fanbase wound up being a fairly obvious choice:
That’s right, if Super Smash Bros. has taught me anything, we all like Ike. If that wasn’t obvious enough by the fact that three versions of Ike have been introduced into the game, it should be more than obvious now that everyone asked for a free Legendary Ike.
You won’t find me complaining since the last Legendary summoning banner kind of screwed me out of getting him.
As an added bonus, our free hero came with a special unlock mission that breaks the mold of what we’ve seen in the past.
That much is clear as soon as players boot up the game and see a message brought up right away, something that has never happened before.
Alfonse’s invitation brings players straight to an option to play out the brand new Xenologue mission:
All things being equal this is a small quality of life change, but I really enjoyed the convenience of it. Whether the developers use this kind of an introduction for every new banner and mission set or save it for special occasions, I’d look forward to seeing it more from here on out.
The actual mission itself isn’t anything particularly special however, outside of the rewards it offers.
The fact that the hard and lunatic difficulties together give players six orbs on top of the Ike and his accompanying blessing is a nice touch Intelligent Systems, I can appreciate that.
Battling to earn your Ike isn’t too much of a hassle. A couple of brave heroes from seasons past stand in your way, ready to protect the wishes of the people… Or whatever.
Everything about this Brave Hero business kind of makes more sense from a meta gameplay perspective than it does from a lore perspective, let’s be honest.
There’s only one map, so when you beat these four up, that’s it. You get your prize.
Damn right you’ll help me out, Ike. I hear you’re pretty good against evil Takumi, so I’m sure you’ll pull your weight around here.
After I finished the Ike portion of the parade, I was ready to get my summoning on. As soon as I’d heard Legendary Ephraim was coming soon I stopped trying to summon evil Celica (sorry sweetie) and saved up a little more than I had been.
I wound up with 165 orbs.
Not too shabby considering how many times in recent months I’ve lamented the lack of orbs in my coffers.
But then the game took an unexpected turn. I actually didn’t have to use ANY orbs to get a 5 star hero. I pulled one on my first free summon!
Somehow I wound up summoning the exact same hero we had just gotten for free. Yeah… That’s awesome. Thanks game.
Luckily he has some good skills or could make my first Ike that much more powerful, so I’m sure he’ll find somewhere useful to be.
Ike’s double trouble wasn’t enough to stop me, however. I had a goal you see. A certain Ephraim in my sight, considering I don’t even have his original form from so long ago.
So I started to blow through some orbs, telling myself not to go TOO crazy. After all, these legendary banners have not been the kindest things to me in the past.
Then this happened:
I was unbelievably happy to get my hands on a Performing Arts Olivia. Back when that banner was going on I wanted her so bad because of her cool look and colorless dancing niche.
Only got axe-weilding Azura (or Axura as I’ve heard) and an Inigo at the time, which was pretty disappointing.
But now I have the girl I always wanted, and my collection of dancers grows ever larger by the day.
For some real life context, this was about the point where I had decided to stop at first. I was sitting in the newsroom, got a little too excited over a cute anime girl and decided to tone things down before I got caught like the weirdo I am.
Then my friend Jonathan started to get three or four really cool heroes in a row, and I figured I would give it another shot considering I still had a ton of orbs left over.
Turns out that was the right decision in the long run:
Here hE IS FOLKS.
MY BOY EPHRAIM!!
I just… Look. I’ve discussed my love of Sacred Stones in the past. It’s a real, honest love for my first game in the series. So I’m predisposed to like this guy.
The fact that he’s so humble and has both an appearance and dialogue that relates back to the lore of the original game only makes that love explode more so. He’s a really well done Legendary Hero, even if the one I summoned has a lowered speed stat.
Ephraim was also one of the top winners in the Choose Your Legends round 2 event, so yet another special version of him should be coming soon too. I look forward to once again throwing my orbs at that.
For now, I retained about 105 after my orb binge and don’t expect to spend too many more anytime soon. Maybe if I build it up enough I’ll try for evil Celica again, but we’ll have to see.
So personal confession time. I don’t exactly feel great about this post right now. It’s not necessarily the content itself, since the content is just about what it usually is: Long winded and hopefully informative.
What I don’t like is the fact that this is coming out a day AFTER the update itself. For anyone looking back at this in some far-flung future time, just getting a look at the larger transformations of this mobile game over time, that probably doesn’t matter.
But for some reason, the fact that I decided to sleep instead of write this the night it appeared — only to have no time to write the entire following day thanks to heavy schoolwork — really got to me.
I’ve had a bit of an existential period of thoughtfulness trying to figure out exactly why there’s a pit in my stomach over this dumb thing out of EVERYTHING going on in my life right now.
This is my blog after all, so it’s not like I’m going to be fired for missing a post. I set my own deadlines on this stuff.
Plus… To be blunt about it, I’m probably the only one who enjoys these. I’m not sure anybody reads them (except for the occasional retweet from Takumi himself on Twitter. Shout out to him). I’m not sure anybody enjoys them.
But I enjoy them.
I really like doing these posts since it’s all about me just talking and speculating about something I care about, as well as watching a game transform over time. I don’t often get in on the ground floor of an experience with constantly changing dynamics, after all.
Maybe something about my strangely unqualified love of these posts and my hard-wired need to hit fast deadlines have contributed to making me feel strangely awful about choosing sleep over lack of sleep with productivity. Maybe I should just take that as a sign that this is something I’m genuinely passionate about, and I shouldn’t necessarily cut down on talking about it like I have been.
I still don’t really know how to take it all things being equal, it’s a strange core feeling I’ve never quite experienced that I’m trying to work through.
If you made it through this winded, self-centered diatribe, go ahead and let me know if you’ve experienced anything similar to this in your own life and career. I’m highly curious to know if anybody has for something of this caliber and has a way to reconcile with it.
Though for something less heavy I suppose, let me know what you think of Legendary Ephraim! Or, how you feel about the free hero pay-off. I’d love to know your thoughts on those events too.
That’s all I’ve got for now, so I’ll see you all next time a big update rolls around.
Or sooner, if you’re interested in the journalism side of my life. There’s a conference I’m attending this weekend where I may or may not be speaking on a panel, so stay tuned for that!