When Fire Emblem Heroes first came out, the biggest draw to the game was the fact that characters from every game in the series would be available in one place.
To prove their commitment to that ideal, Intelligent Systems posed a contest. Everyone who enjoyed Fire Emblem could vote on their favorite heroes from any title, and the top four would become special units once the game dropped.
This Choose Your Legends event culminated in the release of Brave Lyn, Ike, Lucina and Roy.
Then after that, popular but not high-tier units from the Choose Your Legends vote came in the form of farfetched heroes some time later.
Eventually, Intelligent System announced around the game’s one-year anniversary that we would be getting a brand new Choose Your Legends vote, with the heroes who won previously being disqualified.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, Neimi has not been chosen to join the game.
Hopefully one day Intelligent Systems will come to their senses.
In the meantime, the winners of that second Choose Your Legends vote have finally come to the forefront. Veronica, Ephraim, Celica and Hector have joined a higher class of units and are available to summon as of today following their skill announcements during a Feh Channel livestream yesterday.
So, let’s take a look at the heroes we demanded, shall we?
Veronica — Brave Princess
- Hliðskjálf (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
- Foe cannot counterattack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions, and grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and allies within two spaces for one turn.
- Recover (Range = 1)
- Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack +10 (minimum of 15 Health).
- Windfire Balm (Cooldown = 1)
- When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Speed +6 to all allies for one turn.
- Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
- Calculates damage from staffs like other weapons.
- Close Guard (C Skill)
- Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”
Good luck pronouncing the name of Veronica’s weapon. God knows I’ll never be able to.
Thanks to the power of the people, we finally have access to the Princess of Emblian Empire as an ally rather than a foe. Even if she stipulates that she’s not the Veronica we personally know.
The fact that she’s a cleric cavalier who dresses like her older brother Bruno is more than indicative of that, and she has a super solid base kit to facilitate her abilities. She not only has the classic dazzling/wrathful staff combination popularized by Genny, she also offers a host of buffs.
Healing your ally? Buff their attacking stats.
Attacking an enemy? Buff all nearby ally stats while nerfing all nearby opponents.
Standing nearby Veronica at all? Buff their close-range defenses during combat.
It’s an interesting little niche to fill, and while I don’t imagine she’ll be as game changing as Brave Lyn, Veronica will undoubtedly be the best staff-weilding cavalier added into the game.
Ephraim — Sacred Twin Lord
- Garm (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
- Grants Attack +3. If a bonus granted by a skill like Rally or Hone and/or extra movement is granted by a skill like Armor March or Armored Boots is active, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
- Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
- Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
- Close Defense (A Skill)
- If foe initiates combat and uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
- Special Fighter (B Skill)
- At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
- Armor March (C Skill)
- At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).
It’s my boi. He’s here. Ready to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but he’s all out of gum.
The OG Ephraim was a lance infantry unit, and his Legendary Hero counterpart was a cavalier. Now we have an axe-wielding armored knight — a nice bit of diversity, even if he never actually uses that kind of set-up in Sacred Stones.
Beyond being a cool reference to the sacred weapon of Grado, Ephraims axe gives him an immediate +19 attack and guarantees a follow-up attack if he’s next to an ally with adjacent-benefiting skills. An interesting contrast to his stand-offish Legendary Hero variant.
Ephraim also takes hits well, only to make his own further attack-boosting Special Attack more active and lessen the effectiveness of his opponent’s Special Attacks in the process.
Honestly the only thing he’s missing to be a truly phenomenal unit is Distant Counter. Without it, he doesn’t completely overshadow the likes of Hector — in any of his three axe armor forms.
Even so, he’ll probably replace my Valentines Hector. Because I love Ephraim.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even be able to sacrifice a Hector to make him the best he can be.
Celica — Warrior Priestess
- Royal Sword (Might = 16 / Range = 2)
- Grants Speed +3. If unit is within two spaces of an ally, grants unit Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
- Galeforce (Cooldown = 5)
- If unit initiates combat, grants unit another action after combat (once per turn).
- Death Blow 4 (A Skill)
- If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +8 during combat.
- Double Lion (B Skill)
- If unit’s Health = 100 percent at start of combat and unit initiates combat, unit attacks twice, but deals one damage to self after combat (does not stack).
- Attack Tactic (C Skill)
- At start of turn, grants Attack +6 to allies within two spaces for one turn. Granted only if number of that ally’s movement type on current team ≤ two.
Celica is the definition of a glass cannon, but she’s somewhat restricted by what clearly seems to be an attempt by Intelligent Systems to not make her too broken to handle.
She essentially follows the design of Elincia, but as an infantry unit. Utilizing the extra special large buff of her power crept Death Blow, she runs into battle and gets to double her attack output with Double Lion — obviously taught to her by Alm back in Valentia. Then she gets to move again using the power of Galeforce, more likely to trigger when an ally is nearby thanks to her blade.
It’s all copacetic when you discount Attack Tactic, which seems to be more of a reference to her leadership role in-game if anything. Likely the only thing players may want to replace.
Unfortunately, the niche she fills is undermined by the fact that Double Lion negates itself by costing one health. We’ve seen the same thing used with characters like Summer Tana, but in this case it’s more severe because she can’t use a skill like Renewal.
So Celica will probably be a phenomenal glass cannon in terms of killing two units right at the beginning of a match. But with longer, multi-stage fights she might fall more behind than her brave allies.
At least it’s super cool that her design is based on the character’s original appearance from FE Gaiden.
Hector — Brave Warrior
- Maltet (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
- Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
- Ignis (Cooldown = 4)
- Boosts damage dealt by 80 percent of unit’s Defense.
- Ostian Counter (A Skill)
- Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range. If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
- Bold Fighter (B Skill)
- If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
- Even Resistance Wave (C Skill)
- At start of even-numbered turns, grants Resistance +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).
Hector Emblem is finally complete.
If you’re interested in using three axe and one lance armor units and risking instant death from my friend Jonathan’s +10 armorslayer Hana.
Much like his last three variants, Brave Hector is clearly meant to top the meta with just ridiculous damage output and skills.
He has a distant counter lance and can use guaranteed follow-up attacks from both his own and his foe’s attacks. From there, he has multiple opportunities to quicken that Special Attack and bust out a brutal 80 percent damage buff.
Again, his C Skill seems somewhat out-of-place unless he’s meant to take down mages as much as physical attackers. But if you want to run him that way, more power to you.
There’s not much else to say about old Hector here. He’s probably going to be obscenely powerful, and easily replace the top-tier lance armor units like Effie. She unfortunately needs to inherit Distant Counter to be a true beast.
Sorry Effie, I love you… But you’ve been outclassed.
Like the Choose Your Legends banner from last year, players once again have the ability to immediately summon one of the four new brave heroes for free.
In the previous batch, Brave Lyn was almost ubiquitously the best option in the bunch. Everyone wanted a free version of her.
In the new brave banner, at least using my own friend group as a barometer, the decision seems more split.
Personally I decided to use my free summon on Ephraim:
Because I love Sacred Stones. Like a lot.
However, I also see the merits of wanting to summon Veronica or Hector… Celica to a lesser extent.
I already managed to summon Performing Arts Elincia and Micaiah from the most recent special banner, so I’m more than eager to throw a lot more of my orbs at the Brave heroes.
Yet, it appears I may not have to. While I started with 140+ orbs, the game didn’t waste any time by giving me this for my free summon post-guaranteed unit:
Yeah, who would have thought?
Perhaps if this keeps up I won’t have to spend too many orb on this banner. In fact, for now I think I’ll try to keep my bingeing above 100 like I was on the Performing Arts banner. Just to see if anything else comes out in the near future.
So, I suppose that just leaves some story to talk about. For as little as there is here.
Our newest paralogue begins with the conceit, once again, that all of the terrible things happening in the main story are totally separate from what’s happening here.
While it has been a long time since Brave Heroes were summoned into the world of Askr, it seems as though the Order of Heroes is better prepared for their arrival.
Alfonse, in this case, becomes the surrogate for Intelligent Systems from what I can tell.
IS: “Wait, are you serious? They voted for the main villain? Well… Guess we might as well make the Order as confused as we are.”
That’s about all the set-up we get for these encounters. In fact, it’s the only set of lines we get from the Order of Heroes. The rest is character-driven by the new Brave Heroes.
I’ll give the developers credit, they’re good at pairing characters together in such a way that the interactions are compelling to see.
For instance, we start with Celica and Veronica:
They bond over their shared loss of significant relations. Celica being separated from Alm and Veronica being separated from her brother, Bruno.
In fact, Veronica gets a super interesting development overall thanks to this paralogue. But I’ll get into that later.
For now, the characters move on uneventfully when you win the first match. So it’s on to Ephraim and Hector.
Because I don’t know Hector very well, I wouldn’t have drawn the connection initially. But both Lords are thrust into power by outside tragedies despite being mostly self-reliant warriors who love to go it alone.
So naturally they decide to train with each other after bonding for all of three seconds.
Except never mind, you show up first and interrupt the sparring match. Only for you to essentially blow them both away, that way they retreat.
Once all the brave heroes regroup, they give you that stock “time to fight” dialog.
Once the fight ends, Veronica sticks back to talk to your group about her strange presence.
Veronica has a few moments throughout the main story where it’s obvious that she’s lonesome and likes summoning heroes to keep her company.
But through the surrogate of alternate dimension Veronica, now we have a much better clue as to the origin of her neuroses.
She feels abandoned by her brother, who left to try to find a cure for the curse of their bloodline.
Having summoned Veronica, I also have a little more insight into her character. One of her voice line mentions having learned how to ride a horse thanks to her brother and Xander, the Nohrian prince who acts as her chief guardian.
Xander is quite literally a stand-in for her brother. Which is something he likely knows, and may be a strong reason why he stays with her despite the contract being broken between them.
That’s pretty powerful, honestly. Makes me like Veronica that much more.
Good on you Intelligent Systems, I appreciate you making me care more.
With that, we come to the end of another Fire Emblem Heroes adventure.
As always Intelligent System makes these posts some of my favorite to craft, because there’s always something new and unexpected that makes me care for the stupid gotcha game style they’re pushing.
That said, I know nobody but me cares about these posts. So if you managed to make it this far, go ahead and say ‘We the Bravely Default’ in the comments. Because even though I’ve never played the game before, it seems like something that would fit. Plus it would let me know that we are, in fact, the Bravely Default.
While you’re down in those comments there, let me know who’s your favorite new Brave Hero! Also, let me know how you feel about the character development we’re watching unfold with Princess Veronica.
Until next time, stay real y’all.