Tag: Brave Heroes

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

Nothing like the smell of a fresh Fire Emblem Heroes banner in the morning.

This Brave Redux banner, essentially a rehash of the Farfetched Units idea from last year, immediately holds a very special place in my heart. Because it is quite literally the definition of a ‘cuck my friend Jonathan’ banner.

For years he has been asking Intelligent Systems to add Kliff into the game. Plus, he and my friend Mitchell always joke about Loki being great for her…

Two large personalities. If you catch my drift.

So between those two being together and Owain, one of the best units from Awakening, joining in… Well let’s just say we had a great time laughing about how many orbs we were going to waste on this one when the trailer dropped.

But of course the trailer is only half the story. Are these three new Brave units worth summoning?


Loki — The Trickster

Skill Set:

  • Thökk (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Calculates damage from staff like other weapons. At start of the turn, if foe’s Health ≤ unit’s Health +3 and foe is in cardinal directions and uses a bow, dagger, magic or staff, foe cannot move more than one space through its action.
  • Restore (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (minimum 8 Health). Neutralizes ally’s penalties and negative status effects that last through ally’s next action.
  • Earthwater Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • C Duel Infantry (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five-star rarity and level 40 and unit’s stats total is less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena (Higher-scoring opponents will appear. Stat total calculation excludes any values added by merges and skills).
  • Odd Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

While it’s fun seeing Intelligent Systems add another original-to-Heroes character into our summoning pool, I’d be lying if I said Loki was anything but the least valuable unit on this banner for me personally.

Her special weapon and signature ‘Restore’ Movement Assist are great selling points in conjunction with Odd Attack Wave, as they encourage Loki to stay near her allies to cure their status ailments and boost their power.

However, beyond that she also has that A skill I don’t really understand and… Well… The other two units on this banner are special.

So let me jump into them.


Kliff — Curious Spirit

Skill Set:

  • Sagittae (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Defense +3. At start of combat, if foe’s Attack ≥ unit’s Attack +5, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Growing Light (Cooldown = 4)
    • Before combat this unit initiates, foes in a wide area around target take damage equal to (unit’s Attack minus foe’s Defense or Resistance).
  • Fortress Def/Res (A Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6. Inflicts Attack -2.
  • Chill Speed (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Speed -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Fortify Resistance (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Resistance +4 to adjacent allies for one turn.

Analysis:

It’s been 83 years, but we finally have a brand new Fire Emblem Echoes unit in Heroes. Not on its own banner with, say, Silque… But pickers can’t be choosers.

We can finally finish a full collection of the Ram villagers, and that’s worth Kliff being here.

Even if I’m personally uncomfortable not seeing him as an archer when that was his amazing niche in my playthrough of the game.

At least in Heroes Kliff’s unique weapon gives him a different interesting niche to fill. When coming into battle with a lower attack stat, he gets buffed in all of his stats. Throw on a different Special Attack and one of the extra Fortress Sacred Seals and he might honestly be a force to be reckoned with. Plus his design is sweet and that always helps.

But also replace that C skill. As you’ll see with Owain coming up next, only Loki got a good deal in the C department.


Owain — Chosen One

Skill Set:

  • Missiletainn (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). Grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per foe’s attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack, charge granted even if foe’s attack deals 0 damage).
  • Blue Flame (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 10. If unit is adjacent to an ally, boosts damage by 25 instead.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Wrath (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit’s attack triggers Special Attack, grants Special Attack cooldown count -1. Deals +10 damage when Special triggers.
  • Spur Speed/Defense (C Skill)
    • Grants Speed and Defense +3 to adjacent allies during combat.

Analysis:

Even if Kliff is a rare Echoes unit that I’m intrigued in summoning, Owain probably takes the cake as the most interesting build on this banner for me.

Except for the fact that he’s yet another strong sword infantry unit. There are so many of them.

But Owain stands out in that his preferred play style seems to be working alongside other characters. He gains an Attack and Defense boost thanks to that bond, as well as a stronger Special Attack trigger (up to 35 damage thanks to Wrath). I love the idea of playing him closely linked to a supported ally, perhaps with a different C skill. One of the Attack waves perhaps?

Also. Just. He’s Owain.

He’s a goofball and his aching blood shuttering hand over face pose is god damn iconic. He’s pretty much the sole reason I love the very similar Gladeon in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

By all intents and purposes he’s also far better than Odin. So bring me my Owain, Intelligent Systems.


Normally this is the segment where I would post something about my summoning luck.

I would if my luck on this banner thus-far wasn’t nonexistent.

So far I’ve gotten an extra Eirika to merge, then a five-star Gray showed up to ruin a 3.75 percent summoning streak.

I’m a bit peeved at that, almost entirely because Gray is not the Ram villager we’re looking for.

I also wasted a good 60 orbs getting there, so I’m hovering at about 20 or so right now. Probably not going to spend any more for a while, but we’ll see.

Certainly the paralogue story orbs should be encouraging, right?

Perfect segue as always.



Editor’s Note: I’m trying my new smaller photo upload system on this post, so if the images are hard to see just consider this an experiment that I’ll rectify next time Heroes releases a banner.

Like… Next week at this rate.



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Alright I’ll level with you. This is probably the most underwhelming Paralogue we’ve had in a while. Especially considering we just finished doing Halloween business.

It starts with the Order once again remarking that Brave Heroes have arrived.

 

Along with Alfonse, again, making a comment about how strange it is that the people of our world for some reason decided to ask for one of the game’s major villains as a Brave Hero.

Which also is somewhat confusing in that Veronica was a totally novel unit in her Brave banner but Loki isn’t?

Then again the Farfetched Units were not unique either. They were just characters from their games.

So I’m really not sure what the formula is here, Intelligent Systems.

All I know is that Loki’s first arrival is alongside future Grand Hero Battle fodder Aversa from Awakening. And they’re basically the exact same character:

 

Except that Aversa is like Loki blended together with Tharja, and Loki herself has no soul according to Aversa. She says the healer gives off the same aura as Grima which…

Yeah is pretty damning.

Yet, as much as I do like seeing these two play off of each other, they pale in comparison when you throw Owain and Kliff in the same room. I’m just going to show you the main chunk of their exchange, it’s that good.

 

 

Is it weird if I ship these two about an hour after they were introduced into the same universe?

Because I’m definitely up for doing that.

However once the Order of Heroes arrives at the final battle, it’s just kind of standard fair. They all riff on the ideas presented previously, you fight and afterwards they all say they’d be happy to join your team.

Even if apparently they aren’t because all I got was a lousy, stinkin’ Gray.

C’mon Gray, why’d you have to play me like that.


If this post overall sounds a little low-energy, I’d blame the fact that I decided to finish writing it at 2:00 a.m. instead of just waiting for the normal morning hours like I had intended to.

What can I say, the muse came to me.

Speaking of that muse, I know this post goes a good 300 words or so over the self-imposed limit that I mentioned talking to my friend Spencer about… But honestly I feel like these Fire Emblem posts are sort of the exception to that rule.

First, because I’m the only one who reads them.

But also because easily a good 400 or so words are spend just copying the skill descriptions? And those are a necessary evil, less so me giving my thoughts and opinions.

So… Loophole. Yeah.

But anyway, I’m really tired and want to wrap this up. Let me know what you think of the new Brave Heroes in the comments, or somewhere else on the internet!

Personally still hoping that Sacred Stones units are next on the docket… Though less so now that I’ve spent too many orbs just to get Gray.

Screw you, Gray. Never even liked using you in Echoes.

Arrival of the Brave 2: Electric Boogaloo

Arrival of the Brave 2: Electric Boogaloo

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?


VeronicaBrave Princess

Skill Set:

  • 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.”

Analysis:

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.


EphraimSacred Twin Lord

Skill Set:

  • 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).

Analysis:

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.


CelicaWarrior Priestess

Skill Set:

  • 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.

Analysis:

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.


HectorBrave Warrior

Skill Set:

  • 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).

Analysis:

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.

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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:

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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.


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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.

Ephraim: Our Sacred Legendary Hero

Ephraim: Our Sacred Legendary Hero

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:


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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.

  • EphraimLegendary 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:

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:

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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.

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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.

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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!

Unfortunately…

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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:

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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.



Editor’s Note:

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!

Farfetched? More like… Umm… Lute’s in Fire Emblem Heroes, everyone

Farfetched? More like… Umm… Lute’s in Fire Emblem Heroes, everyone

If anything, this post will have taught me that title puns can be hard.

Knowing that a Feh Channel update was scheduled last night, I’ve been saving up some orbs for a little while. While that’s slowed down my efforts to get a witch Nowi, I figured there was a good chance he announcements made during the update would be worthwhile.

Sometimes, a gamer’s intuition is spot-on.

If you want to check out the Channel update, I’m putting it up above here. Personally I haven’t had a ton of time to dissect it because I’ve been busy doing Daily Titan stuff (as you’ll see later this afternoon more than likely), but I know there’s tons and tons of interesting goodies coming in the near future.

One of those goodies happens to be relevant today, however. So that’s what we’re going to be chatting about today.

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Apparently, Intelligent Systems is keeping on the idea of “Brave Heroes” based on community preference at the inception of Fire Emblem Heroes. Frankly, I think it’s a welcome idea… Even if my favorite character has still yet to show up.

One day, Neimi. One day.

This time around, they’re taunting me too. Taunting my by including one of the best characters from the Sacred Stones that aren’t Neimi – Or, technically two of the best characters, but one will be coming later.

  • LuteProdigy
    • Alright let’s break this down really quick. Lute. Is. Amazing. From what my reddit-browsing friends have told me, Lute is really beloved and popular, which is a sentiment I tend to think I embody quite eagerly as well. She’s one of the best characters in Sacred Stones for both her battle skills and her personality, which is well-known for being equal parts cocky and quirky due to her early life living as a magical prodigy in an isolated forest village alongside her highly pious friend (and husband in all of my play throughs of the game) Artur. In Heroes, she comes with a new Weirding Tome that grants +3 speed and has a speed ploy effect. Beyond that she can rally Attack and Resistance on an ally, she has a natural HP and Resistance boost and she comes with a Resistance Ploy as well. Arguably she has the worst skills of the new heroes… But hey, sentimentality means a lot for me here.
    • Also did I mention she’s probably the only character who has a single word title? It’s pretty hilarious.
  • MiaLady of Blade
    • When the Radiance games hit Heroes a little whole ago I talked about how I have very little experience with them outside of Ike in Super Smash Bros. That hasn’t changed, so Mia isn’t really in my wheelhouse of understanding. I do really like her art in this game though, so she certainly has that going for her. She’s a mercenary (because who isn’t from these games apparently) who takes multiple sides to pay off her debts and eagerly spars with Ike whenever she has the opportunity. In Heroes she comes with a Resolute Blade that grants her +3 attack while boosting special attacks by 10 points, Luna as a special attack to be boosted, a skill called flashing blade that adds a cooldown charge to special attacks when she has higher speed and vantage. Good old reliable vantage. Can’t complain too much here, honestly.
  • DorcasSerene Warrior
    • The Blazing Blade follows the same pattern of experience for me as the Radiance titles. In other words, I have no experience playing the Blazing Blade, though I have played as Roy in Smash Bros. Amazing how that seems to tie together, huh? That said, I have next to no experience with Dorcas either. Lute gets all the love this time around, sorry man. In my research I see that Dorcas is good friends with Bartre, commonly the butt of jokes for being a useless but frequent pull when summoning. Good sign.  He does also love his family greatly and does everything to protect them though… So I guess things balance out somewhere along the way. In Heroes, he comes with a Stout Tomahawk that grants ranged counterattacks, Draconic Aura to boost attack, an ability called Fierce Stance that boosts his attack by 6 when attacked, Quick Riposte to make automatic follow-up attacks when damaged and Infantry Pulse to lower his special cooldown when he has higher health. All and all a pretty solid looking set, honestly. He seems like a great axe user, even if I don’t much care for him as a character.

Once again, the story behind the Paralogue for these Heroes doesn’t do too much to catch my interest… Besides involving Lute, of course. That said, this story-based section should go fairly quickly.

Fingers crossed.


As usual, three missions that provide nine orbs all together are here in this Paralogue – with an extra three through missions, of course.

Normally I wouldn’t say too much about the menu screen. But… Well, what can I say. I’m a bit upset that Lute isn’t on the photo for the mission listing. Or on the bonus daily items listing for that matter.

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Why guys? Why does Lute get the short end of the stick?

Anyway, I digress.

This Paralogue follows the Order of Heroes as they return to protect the same land that was under attack back when the first Brave Heroes were arriving on the scene. When they arrive, they first find Mia and Lute… Well, doing their things.

Good ol’ cocky Lute. Gotta love her.

Once the two of them are beaten into the ground, you move on to the second map, which has a nice surprise waiting within:

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Joshua returns from the Sacred Stones, bringing with him a classic gambling addiction. He’s an absolutely wonderful and fun character in his original game who has a lot of depth, so I’m glad to see he’s getting some time in the limelight again. He’s also the originator of my love for Swordmaster units. Have you seen the critical animation for Swordmasters in Sacred Stones?

It’s incredible. ’nuff said.

As a matter of fact, he’s going to get more time in the limelight soon, as it seems a new Tempest Trial is on the way (presumably Sacred Stones themed <3) where he’s going to be the reward character. Plus, his title proclaims him to be the “Tempest King.” An odd choice for his original game canon, but not all that odd if you consider he’s going to have an important role in the story of Fire Emblem Heroes.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do with him, in fact!

Unfortunately, for now he doesn’t get much more than a cameo. A wonderful, snarky little cameo. Then, once he’s gone, the rest of the story goes on without much interruption… Or excitement, unfortunately. Right up until the end when you free everyone from their contracts.

If this focus didn’t have heroes I care about from my favorite Fire Emblem game, I feel like it would frankly be a little underwhelming. Seriously they picked great characters to represent Sacred Stones.

Even if they didn’t pick the best one.

Come on Intelligent Systems, you better make things right one of these days. I’m still holding out for the best archer.


I still find myself questioning the decision to call this banner the “farfetched heroes” banner. I understand to a certain extent that they’re all quirky characters who seem to have personalities that bounce off of one another, but I still don’t know why that particular title was chosen.

I’m not going to complain too much about it, however, because I’m still hoping to pull Lute sometime soon.

Oh that’s right, I mentioned saving orbs earlier for this right? Well… I saved up about 40 orbs. Didn’t get a Lute. Didn’t get anything in fact, which is why I kind of skipped out on talking about it.

Please game… I won’t give you shit for skipping out on Neimi anymore. Just love me again. I promise to keep feeding you the orbs you crave.

Alright, when I start giving weird ultimatums to a video game, it’s definitely time to go to bed.

Like I said before, I’ll likely be posting again tonight about two articles I’ve published in the paper, and otherwise I’ll likely be busy writing yet another article for the paper. Because there’s never any rest.

Except for Thanksgiving week next week, which will be a godsend. Plus, it will probably give me the opportunity to do a deeper dive into the Feh Channel update, which I’ll really have to do sooner or later.

Until then, tell me what you think of these new heroes in the comments below! Are you as excited about Lute as I am? Or has Mia caught your eye? Or Dorcas for that matter, can’t leave the big, strong man out of things.

Okay for real, time for bed. Catch you all next time.

The Heroes we chose, the Power we crave

The Heroes we chose, the Power we crave

Before Fire Emblem Heroes hit mobile app stores, there was a promotional “Choose Your Legends” event that had fans of the Fire Emblem series vote on heroes they were interested in seeing in a game which had only just recently been teased at a token Nintendo Direct for the series.

When the voting period ended and the results were released, not much was very surprising about the results. Taking the top rungs of the ladder for the men were Ike from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance as well as Roy from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. For the women, Lyndis from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade and Lucina from Fire Emblem Awakening took top billing.

In the six months since the game has launched, we have not heard much regarding these four chosen heroes, the most popular in Fire Emblem history if you believe in the sanctity of a community-driven vote. Democracy at work.

But now we know just what has been cooking for these fan favorites: A new distinction as “Brave Heroes,” bringing along with them a new look, new weapons, new skills and a certain extra sense of prestige.

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Okay, technically we knew about these Brave Heroes a couple days ago when a new episode of Feh Channel was released…

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Which you can watch here if you’re interested.

But that came out so close to the actual release of these guys that I figured it would be worth waiting to talk about them.

So, now that they’re here, what are the Brave Heroes we chose packing?

  • Lucina – Brave Princess
    • Lucina wields the legendary lance Geirskögul, which gives her +3 defense and gives allies with physical weapons within 2 spaces +3 attack and speed during combat. She also comes with the special attack Aether, boosting her damage while recovering health, and the skills Sturdy Blow (to add attack and defense during initiated combat) and Drive Speed (to grant her allies +3 speed within 2 spaces during combat).
  • Roy – Brave Lion
    • Roy wields the legendary sword Blazing Durandal, which gives him +3 attack and adds +1 to the special attack cooldown of his enemies if he has a higher attack stat. He comes equipped with the special attack Galeforce, granting him an extra turn if he initiates combat, and the skills Steady Blow (to add speed and defense during initiated combat) and Desperation (which allows for immediate follow-up attacks if he’s below 75% health). Roy is also a cavalier now.
  • Lyndis – Brave Lady
    • Lyn wields the legendary bow Mulagir, which gives her +3 speed and nullifies the bonuses of magic users from skills like Fortify ‘X’ and Rally ‘X.’ Her special skill is Draconic Aura, a consistent damage booster, and she comes with three skills: Swift Sparrow (to add attack and speed during initiated combat), Sacae’s Blessing (disabling counterattacks on foes with swords, lances and axes) and Attack Smoke (which inflicts -7 attack on foes within 2 spaces after combat). Brave Lady Lyn is also the first Bow Knight added to the game, giving her vast mobility and range.
  • Ike – Brave Mercenary
    • Ike wields the legendary axe Urvan, which gives him an accelerated special attack cooldown and makes it so consecutive attacks deal 80% less damage. Fun fact, 80% is a hell of a lot considering this is a game where 40 damage is usually a one hit kill. His special skill is Aether just like Lucina has, and he comes with three skills: Steady Breath (granting him +4 defense if attacked and adding +1 to his cooldown), Beorc’s Blessing (which nullifies the Fortify ‘X’ and Rally ‘X’ and more bonuses from flying units and cavaliers) and Threaten Defense (which lowers opponents defense by 5 within 2 spaces after combat).

I mentioned it before, but the results of the Choose Your Legends event are pretty obvious in hindsight. On the one hand, I can totally see why:

  • Lucina is arguably the most popular character from Awakening, the game that saved the Fire Emblem series from extinction a few years ago. She’s the central tie for essentially everything that happens in that game, and that makes her a very interesting and dynamic character. Plus, she got a chance to be in Super Smash Bros 4 (which as you’ll see is a common theme in this list).
  • Roy was one of the two characters, alongside Marth, who bolstered the popularity of Fire Emblem in the United States. They both appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee and got American audiences interested in the previously obscure RPG, enough so that the next game in the series was released here. Speaking of…
  • Lyndis is a main character from the Blazing Blade, which in America was known simply as “Fire Emblem” because it was the first game in the series to be released there. In fact, though I’m not entirely sure considering I haven’t personally played the game, I believe Lyn is the very first character you encounter in that game as the main character in the tutorial stages. Add to that her legendary status as a one-hit-knock-out assist trophy in Smash Bros. and you have someone quite memorable to many fans.
  • If Lyn is considered quite memorable, Ike is truly a character anyone who has even heard of Fire Emblem can recognize. As a main hero in two Fire Emblem games and a fighter introduced into Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he has had quite a strong presence in much of the series’ history. In fact, much of his popularity probably stems from the memes that Smash Bros. spawned. Not only is he a cool heavy-hitting character that uses a flaming sword, but cries of “Aether,” “We like Ike” and “I fight for my friends” characterize a large breadth of jokes that get passed around for the game. Ike even appears in the opening title screen for Heroes, and the long stretch of time before he was added to the game had many players asking for him to appear.

But on the other hand, that inherent popularity of these heroes makes their appearance here entirely too predictable. In a way, I would almost argue that makes it a boring list of characters to highlight despite how much “fan favoritism” balances that out.

However, I would also argue the way the heroes look and their awesome skills help to balance that out even more. They seriously look and play amazingly just from the offset, so even if I feel we were jipped by not giving other heroes the chance at alternate skins (of which Lucina now has three for whoever is keeping count), at least they’re still worth getting.

Though if I had my way, those abundant votes for Neimi in that original voting session would have held more sway. Just saying.

Another special thing about this new summoning banner comes from the fact that the game is trying something new with it: Allowing players to get one of the Brave Heroes for free.

This unprecedented bit of generosity helps play back on the community-driven aspect of the Choose Your Legends event. Players chose these heroes to represent their favorites, so they all get to have at least one as a thank you for playing the game.

Who did I choose, I hear you ask?

Well…

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Though it was a tough choice between her and Ike, I had to go with Lyndis. Namely because she’s the first Bow Knight introduced into Fire Emblem Heroes. The horse-mounted archer class is probably my favorite in the series (again dating back to Neimi in Sacred Stones), and on top of that it fits perfectly onto the horse-themed team I’ve been building for some time now.

I’ll probably blow some orbs trying to summon the rest of the three available Brave Heroes, but I likely won’t go crazy over it. They’re all cool and limited-time rare, but I still feel like I should be saving my orbs for a rainy day after a number of recent binges.


Now onto what is strangely still one of my favorite parts of these updates: The story.

This time around it’s pretty bare bones, so those of you who don’t enjoy my endless ramblings are getting lucky.

This Paralogue comes with the usual assortment of bonuses you would expect. Three difficulty levels to get nine orbs, three extra missions for more orbs… But this time, it also comes alongside a log-in bonus to help players get 20 orbs.

In terms of the actual story, this Paralogue is frankly more fluffy than most of the others on our ever-growing list.

And I don’t mean fluffy as in “Let’s watch Anna try to take some click-bait swimsuit pictures,” I mean fluffy as in “This Paralogue is literally just a nod to players about this being a player-driven choice and event.”

It begins with a rather thin premise of enemy forces gathering in an old temple in Askr.

As it turns out, that temple was the original resting place of the weapon that you, the player character, now wields that gives you the ability to summon heroes from the various worlds. So then, why is the Emblian empire stationing themselves there if the one weapon the temple is known for has already been taken?

Well… They don’t really explain that.

They just explain that Brave Heroes, who are exceptionally stronger than normal heroes because of the strength behind the love and belief of others that resides in them (which is another thin way of saying we all voted for them), are there now.

“A legendary rite” say the writers with a wink and a knowing grin.

Interestingly enough nothing goes any deeper than this. Everything about this Paralogue can essentially be summed up as “Hey look at this fan service we’re giving you, hope you enjoy the free stuff.”

Don’t know what it is with me and fake quoting things tonight, but it’s certainly happening a lot.

That aside, in the end you just go through the three battles:

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But nothing of substance happens until the end when the four are together and talk in vaguely meta terms about being chosen.

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And that’s all she wrote.

However, before I move on, I did want to mention an interesting point tying the four heroes together. In their selected descriptions, each of them mentions the fact that these forms are based on their fathers in one form or another.

Lucina is wearing armor similar to her father’s armor. Lyndis is utilizing the bow and horse riding skills of her father. Roy is using his father’s sword and rides a horse like him as well. Ike, finally, is using his father’s axe to battle.

This is arguably a small detail, but I think it’s a really cool way to add some extra world building into the mix. I can always appreciate some extra world building.


The Brave Heroes summoning focus isn’t the only way Intelligent Systems is making good on the Choose Your Legends event from before the game’s launch.

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The eight highest ranked heroes (four men and four women, including the regular forms of the previously discussed brave heroes) will be pitted against one another in a voting gauntlet.

I personally only have a Roy and a Camilla in my hero storage banks, but neither are leveled up at all, so this will probably be the first gauntlet in which I don’t actively support a hero I use to gain extra points.

That said I’ll be supporting Ike to start. Because I’ll be honest, it’ll be quite the shock for me if he doesn’t wind up winning.

While I won’t personally be buying into them, there are two summoning focuses in place to summon the characters in question:

 

 

My orbs are better spent in other places I would argue, even if a regular Ike or a Hector are heroes I could stand to have eventually.

One thing I think is interesting to note is the fact that of the eight available heroes, six are red units (five of which being sword users specifically). The other two are axe wielders, which means they’re inherently at a disadvantage. Though using the units themselves merely gives you a benefit and isn’t required, thus making it so their one-on-one disadvantages are essentially null, I still think it says something that so many of the community’s favorite units use swords.

It probably says that everyone thinks swords are cool. Which is true.

Swords are great.


Finally, I also figured it would be worth mentioning that the Heroes developers are doing some interesting outside marketing/engagement using players of the game.

The most prominent of those efforts is putting out tweets and giving rewards out if enough people retweet it. This is the second time they’ve done it, and unlike the first time I actually decided to do my part this time around:

They also have a game set up on the official Fire Emblem Heroes website called a Quick Hero Battle mode that lets you choose units that have an advantage over a unit they throw at you repeatedly for 30 second bouts. You can play the game twice a day (unless you post about it on social media, in which case you get more play time) and the current prizes are phone wallpapers of the Brave Heroes.

Don’t have too much to say in regards to these, I just think it’s an interesting little outreach that was worth at least bringing up. Hell, anything that can help encourage me to keep more engaged in social media is probably a miracle in and of itself.


Now, with all of this said, I officially take my leave. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment in the morning, so it would probably do me some good to get more sleep than I’m giving myself.

What do you think of the Brave Heroes? Which one is your favorite and why? Let me know in the comments below!