Those descendants of the Hero-King were marked with a Brand of the Exalt to show the holy bloodline they inherited from Naga: King of the Divine Dragons who created those legendary blades in her ultimate benevolence toward humans.
Despite lacking the power to create, many consider Naga the world’s creation deity.
Naga’s history in Fire Emblem lore ties back to one idea: Killing malevolent dragons.
Her skill set as the first Astra Mythic Hero in Fire Emblem Heroes reflects this idea perfectly.
She flies in (reminiscent of her appearance in Fire Emblem Awakening) and grants every adjacent ally effectiveness against dragon foes. For each ally with that descriptor she receives a boost to all of her stats.
That’s her entire gimmick. It’s an interesting and likely effective one, but narrowly focused toward players who actively seek competitive online matches.
Though to be fair her A Skill refers specifically to Aether Raids, so she’s obviously meant to appear in online modes of battle.
I happen to not be very focused on the Player-versus-Player aspects of Heroes, so Naga is more interesting to me on account of her lore than her battle prowess.
Yet she comes with a good enough entourage — particularly on blue stones — for me to like her banner quite a bit:
Effective against flying foes. Grants Speed +3. If unit initiates combat, deals damage = 25 percent of foe’s Defense (ignores reduction from special skills).
Lunar Flash (Cooldown = 2)
Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 20 percent during combat. Boosts damage by 20 percent of unit’s Speed.
Darting Blow 4 (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Speed +9 during combat.
Null Follow-Up (B Skill)
Disables foe’s skills that guarantee foe’s follow-up attack and foe’s skills that prevent unit’s follow-up attack.
Odd Attack Wave (C Skill)
At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted even if no allies are adjacent).
There’s only one way to describe Legendary Alm:
He gets +12 speed when initiating combat, and the opponent cannot prevent a follow-up.
Then all that extra speed is added into his two-turn (!!!) Special Attack, which reduces the foe’s Defense without affecting his weapon’s Defense-based damage boost.
It’s crazy how copacetic that build is — especially when you can add a Sacred Seal to boost his Speed further. Odd Attack Wave is probably the weak link because it’s situational, but +6 Attack is nothing to sneeze at.
And let’s not forget, he gets the brand new pair up mechanic. Meaning an ally can back the boy up.
If that doesn’t convince you that Alm is a powerful motherfucker, just look at his art.
This boy exudes power. The fact that his bow looks like it contains Mila’s Turnwheel is beautiful. He is beautiful
Really, I can’t say enough good things. Especially considering his posse is also solid:
I have none of the colorless units on this banner and want Alm and Eirika badly.
I also don’t own Legendary Roy, Nailah, Christmas Fae or Sue. I don’t care about them quite as much, but wouldn’t be opposed to summoning any.
There’s not much more to say beyond that. He’s got a map:
But I’m terrible at judging whether these things are difficult or not, so I won’t even try.
All I know is that Legendary Battle Maps mean more orbs. And boy am I going to need a lot of orbs by the end of this week.
… Did I say by the end of this week?
I may have underestimated. Because some part of me snapped once this banner came around, and I spent an embarrassing number of orbs trying to summon Alm and/or Eirika.
All I’ll say is that it was between 199 and 201 or so.
No big deal. My impulse control is fine! As is my missing orb horde.
What is a big deal is that being a big spender has only gotten me this return:
Two new characters isn’t bad or anything, but it just figures the only colorless unit I get is the one I didn’t want (as much).
With all of these golden week rewards coming through, I’ll probably be pumping way more resources into Alm’s banner than I care to admit. So hopefully things work out soon, otherwise I’ll have another Legendary Ryoma situation on my hands.
In the meantime, let me know how many orbs you’ve spend on this banner! I’d like to feel justified by sharing in my pain.
Maybe then my hands will stop shaking from the dirty deeds I have done.
The Tempest Trials have returned in Fire Emblem Heroes, and this time they’re based in the land of Valentia, home of Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake Fire Emblem Echoes.
Unlike the last Tempest Trials, this one comes with a little less pomp and circumstance. While the Ylisse-themed trials had an extra paralogue series aimed at explaining how the entire calamitous event began, this one simply comes with a small conversation introducing it to a new world:
It wasn’t much, but I did find it interesting to note that Masked Lucina continues to be the bridge for Tempest Trials appearances. Given her initial appearances and overall role in Awakening, when she served as a warning for the coming apocalypse by the Fell Dragon Grima and aimed to stop its rise, it makes a lot of sense.
It’s also pretty cool from a lore perspective, I would say. Gives the chance for these events to tie together and be more engaging as they go along and hit more worlds.
First and foremost, the major difference between this version of the Tempest Trials and the last version is the locale. Instead of the battles taking place on maps from Fire Emblem Awakening, they take place on the maps from Fire Emblem Echoes.
In the most difficult Lunatic-level run, the first three battles take place on maps from Alm’s in-game route (featured in the “World of Shadows” Paralogue) and the second three battles take place on maps from Celica’s in-game route (featured in the “Rite of Shadows” main story chapter).
The final battle takes place in the ritual sacrifice room underneath Duma Tower where you have your final bout with Berkut in Echoes. I won’t spoil anything here, but the fight has some emotional repercussions in the games story, so having that map as a background is pretty awesome.
One of the coolest things about this map is that it continues the tradition in Fire Emblem Heroes of using the origin map’s music to accompany the fight. While Alm’s maps use the battle music from Chapters 1 and 3 from Echoes and Celica’s maps use the battle music from Chapters 2 and 3 from Echoes, the final fight in the ritual sacrifice room uses the music from Chapter 5 where the in-game battle takes place.
It’s both fitting and brings up good memories from that part of the game. All and all a nice touch.
Plus, Celica is the big contender to deal with rather than Veronica, which is phenomenal considering how hard it was to get past her.
The next change regards differences in the missions that have been added to correspond with the event:
Now, instead of there being a larger reward for completing runs in the trials over the course of the two weeks, the reward missions for completing runs are going to recycle every day and come with smaller prerequisites. Completing the run once, twice or three times rather than 15 times in a more long-term format.
The rewards for these daily missions will also be doubled once the event is halfway done, starting on July 14th. At the very least, this makes aiming for the stamina bottle way more worthwhile, as each of them provides enough energy to accommodate about 5 runs at the Trials on their own.
To accompany this new mission system also comes changes to the format of battles and the multi-team selection mechanic as you progress through battles.
The update log specifies two proprietary changes in this field:
First, the scores you can receive in normal and hard difficulty runs have been increased. This is good for people who are new to the game at least, as it makes it easier to rack up points when you don’t have that many good units to cycle through. However, I only attempt the hardest difficulty so I can earn as many points as possible even with losses, so it doesn’t affect me that much.
Second, the more significant and honestly much needed change, comes into play as battles progress.
Inevitably, your units will begin to burn out the further into the challenge you get. Health and death are not restored when you move from one battle to the next, so even the strongest of teams can get worn down. This fact hasn’t changed, but what happens when you move from one team to the next has.
During the last Tempest Trials, when you began with a second team, the opponents on whatever battle you’re fighting were restored to full capacity with just a small health deficit.
Now the opponent’s team receives the same treatment yours does. Whoever you kill before your team loses stays dead and all the damage you cause carries on.
Finishing the final battle against Veronica in the last Trials was frankly a nightmare. Even if you got close to winning and lost, all of your work would be undone when you started with the next team. It meant you had to be nearly perfect to make it to the end and follow-through for a victory.
My teams were less than perfect, so I had to work up to the higher-tiered rewards by racking up as many points from loses as I could.
The fact that you can wear down your opponent’s team is frankly a godsend. I’ve already won more times in one day than I did in the entirety of the other event’s two week runtime.
It makes everything feel faster and more engaging to play, which fixes my major complaint of getting burned out on Tempest Trials runs far too quickly the last time it came around.
The last major change to discuss are the rewards to shoot for.
In Fire Emblem Heroes, sacred seals allow heroes to have an extra skill to utilize for building battle strategies. However, you can’t have more than one of each kind of seal, so it would be useless to provide the same rewards a second time around.
Thus, there are two new sacred seals and a brand new hero to aim for:
The lower-level seal at 20,000 points is a +1 Resistance buff. The higher-level seal, pictured above at 40,000 points, is Phantom Speed 1. This seal automatically adds 5 points to your unit’s speed stat whenever a skill activates that compares your unit’s speed to another unit’s speed.
The character reward this time around is Tobin, one of Ram Village’s children and childhood friend of Alm. Arguably one of my favorite villagers too… Though I’m not sure I fully understand his designation as “The Clueless One.” If anything, I remember him being more of a confidant and advisor to Alm.
That’s beside the point, however.
Compared to the last character reward, Masked Lucina, Tobin looks to be a little underwhelming. Lucina was a completely blank slate that allowed for complete customization of skills through inheritance, which was an interesting prospect. Tobin, however, comes prepackaged with an Armorslayer+ and the skills Pivot, Attack +3 and Seal Speed 3.
While I give the game some points considering I made my Tobin a mercenary during my playthrough of Echoes, meaning I appreciate the idea of him holding a sword (even if it isn’t my personal token Levin Sword that slaughtered fools), these skills don’t seem fantastic or make him standout particularly well.
Hopefully I’m proven wrong by a good stat distribution, but I suppose I’ll find that out once I unlock him. He has attachment value at least, so I’ll be happy to get him for that if nothing else.
Besides the two additional summoning focuses corresponding with the Tempest Trials and with the Alm & Celica special battle, that just about sums everything up in regards to the new event.
I’m building up my orb surplus after splurging to get Eldigan after all, so I probably won’t be spending any on those. Even if the second chance at getting Genny, my favorite Echoes unit, is appealing.
How do you feel about this second Tempest Trials? Do you appreciate the changes to the format as much as I do? Or would you have liked to see more done?
Personally, I’m pretty happy with the changes. Between getting through a number of updates in Duel Links coming down the pipeline, I’ll gladly be working my way up to that 5 star Tobin.