Boy it sure does feel like I was covering the start of Book III just yesterday, doesn’t it? Glad to see Intelligent Systems isn’t slowing down with these new units.
Luckily today we just have a smaller holiday-themed banner, which makes it a quick distraction from my finals. Which, by the way, is why I’m not getting this out earlier. Had my Sensation and Perception exam at 12 p.m.
It was kind of a mess, but that’s a story for another day.
I’d much rather talk about this banner right now, as it involves my favorite Fire Emblem game! Especially since the units fill some interesting niches.
During combat, boosts unit’s Defense and Resistance by the number of allies within two spaces x 2 (max bonus of +6). If foe’s range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of the foe’s Defense or Resistance.
Luna (Cooldown = 3)
Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat.
Defense/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Defense and Resistance +5 during combat.
Vengeful Fighter (B Skill)
If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
Armor March (C Skill)
At the start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space (this turn only, does not stack).
At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +5 to ally with the highest Attack for one turn (excluding this unit).
Restore (Range = 1)
Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (min of 8 Health). Neutralizes ally’s penalties and negative status effects that last through ally’s next action.
Heavenly Light (Cooldown = 2)
When healing an ally with a staff, restores 10 Health to all allies.
Dazzling Staff (B Skill)
Foe cannot counterattack.
Attack Opening (C Skill)
At the start of the turn, grants Attack +6 to ally with the highest Attack for one turn (excluding this unit).
If I haven’t made it obvious before, I don’t celebrate Christmas. So it’s not exactly a time where I get super hyped up on holiday spirit. Thus, events in games that I play are usually my major connections to said spirit.
Everyone loves themselves some holiday variants, after all. Last year’s Christmas banner introduced a bunch of skills that changed the game by making armor units truly powerful.
But wait, that’s not all! Intelligent Systems has tripled the Christmas cheer by also starting the Tempest Trial right away:
Between Ephraim and my Lissa from last year, I’ve got this in the bag.
All the more orbs for me to use alongside these Paralogue rewards.
For the most part, this Paralogue offers a standard story with a few moments of humor that stand out decently well.
As usual the Order of Heroes has decided to take part in a yearly festival so they can bolster their supplies. But this time they have true opponents:
Fjorm and her sister Ylgr confirm that the Nifl units have not disappeared into the aether thanks to the start of Book III. I just hope they’ll make an appearance in the main story as well!
The Order first encounters a particularly bossy Fae.
Then they find Ephraim and Cecilia having an interesting conversation remarking on one another’s renown in legends. It’s similar to his conversations with Hector from the Brave banner, except this time he asks if she would be willing to instruct him in the art of magic.
To which she replies:
And totally tears him down. It’s actually kind of hilarious watching Ephraim fall apart when he’s suddenly told that there’s no hope for him learning a new fighting style.
Of course that’s all set dressing, as the Order shows up and hands them a big, steaming L.
When they retread and join the others, your squad easily beats them once more to receive all the big holiday prizes. Though I can’t imagine all of these contest holders are happy with the Order coming in and winning every single one…
But hey, turns out Nifl was fighting against you in the contest. So Ylgr gives you a bit of guilt:
Which leads to Sharena giving them all of the gifts. It’s frankly the least they can do for a nation that was completely ravaged not that long ago.
Once the Nifl princesses leave, there’s an extended portion of the epilogue where Anna finds out that Sharena still believes in this realm’s version of Santa Claus because Alfonse never told her he wasn’t real.
For a subject that might have just been a fun little aside, this gag goes on for way too long in-game.
So I’m not going to offer it near as much screen time. Play the game if you want to see more!
And with that, more virtual holidays have come and gone. This season’s bounty is truly worth the orb splurge in my opinion… Though in just a week or two we’ll be getting the New Year’s banner as well.
So hey, summon with your own discretion.
Let me know what you think of these new holiday units, and who you want to see get a seasonal alt next in the comments below!
Looks like Intelligent Systems decided to give us a treat this Halloween with a brand new Legendary Hero from my favorite game in the entire Fire Emblem franchise.
While the Brave Redux banner with Loki, Kliff and Owain has been around for a few days now, I haven’t gotten anything particularly special out of it. In fact the only five-star hero it gave me was a Gray — and while I can appreciate the thematic consistency, he’s no Kliff.
After summoning him, something deep down inside me said, “Jason. Save your orbs. It feels like we might be gearing up for a Sacred Stones banner sometime soon.”
So I did start to save my orbs.
We didn’t get a full Sacred Stones banner, but the game’s chief heroine has now arrived in a brand new light to justify my frugality.
But was she worth saving myself for? Well, only one way to find out.
Even though obviously the answer is yes.
Editor’s Note: On the last banner I tried to use shrunken photos to improve my media space consumption, but they were a little too small and came out blurry.
So I’m trying a medium size this time and hopefully it will look better. Again, sorry for the growing pains!
Grants Attack +3. If the numbers of foes within two spaces (excluding target) ≥ the number of allies within two spaces (excluding unit), grants Defense and Resistance +3 and Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack).
Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
Attack/Speed Solo (A Skill)
If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +6 during combat.
Lunar Brace (B Skill)
Slows Special Attack trigger (cooldown count +1). Deals damage = 50 percent of foe’s Defense when Special Attack triggers.
Odd Defense Wave (C Skill)
At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).
Legendary Eirika has an interesting synergy with her brother’s Legendary Hero variant. A synergy in that, while both are cavalry units (as per their ultimate forms in Sacred Stones), both also thrive when staying way the hell away from each other.
That Solo skill and her weapon’s effect makes her a unit whose primary purpose is to charge into battle on her own, slaying enemies with an accelerated Moonbow trigger that has extra boosted damage on account of the Lunar Brace.
Send her in on turns where she gets a defensive boost thanks to her C skill and Eirika reads like a force to be reckoned with on paper. Personally I even kind of prefer her Brace’s focus on improving damage output over Legendary Ephraim’s Solar Brace improving his vampirism.
Arguably the only real problem harming Eirika’s viability is the fact that sword-wielding cavalier is a field that’s very saturated all things being equal. Eldigan, Sigurd, variant Reinhardt, Brave Roy, Exalt Chrom…
And those are just the ones I own.
Personally I think Legendary Eirika would have been more impactful if they utilized the mage cavalier variant here instead of in her Anamnesis alt from the start of this year. Or honestly anything that could have helped her stand out a bit better.
Though that said, I fricken love Eirika and will sink all my orbs into summoning her no matter what. Hell her OG form is still my token unit and I’ve invested a lot into her, so Legendary girl will fit right in.
I’ll probably regret this decision when Neimi drops in the Sacred Stones exclusive banner next week… But that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get there.
Also available on Legendary Eirika’s banner are:
Tana — Noble and Nimble
Olivia — Sky-High Dancer
Ephraim — Legendary Lord
Ninian — Bright-Eyed Bride
Sumia — Maid of Flowers
Lyn — Lady of the Wind
Sanaki — Apostle in White
Robin — Fell Reincarnation
Robin — Fell Vessel
Innes — Regal Strategician
Genny — Endearing Ally
My preferences for the supplemental summoning units this time around are rather simple.
In red, Olivia. In blue, Ninian. In green, Sanaki. In colorless, Genny.
Those are the four units I have not summoned before, with all the rest having joined my army already. In that respect the banner overall is a bit disappointing, as red is my major focus — with Tana being a sticking point. As much as I love her.
However, if nothing else I do appreciate the themeing. Having both Tana and Ephraim on Eirika’s banner was a smart choice, and both Grima variants being summonable is cool… Even if female Grima is very overplayed.
Now there is one more problem with this banner thus far…
The fact that I’ve blown through the 60 orbs I had already and pretty much summoned nothing.
Hell probably the only ‘useful’ unit I’ve gotten for myself is an extra Soleil, bringing me up to my 8th merge for her.
Should I do a post on my +10 merge project units at some point? I feel like that could be fun.
But that is also a discussion for another day. Because right now I need some extra orbs for my fix… And I think Eirika might have just what I need.
I usually don’t have too much to say about these Legendary Battle maps, and this time is no exception. The reinforcements arriving thing is never a fun mechanic, but otherwise this one seems better than some of the others we’ve seen before.
Plus, Lyn and Grima’s Legendary Battle maps return as well and I haven’t beaten the Infernal difficulty on either. So yay, orbs.
Please game just give me some orbs for Halloween.
So I know this probably isn’t the Halloween post you all would have expected out of me. But don’t fret, as I may just have Halloween things to talk about later today?
I certainly don’t because it’s 12:30 a.m. when I’m writing this. I just think it could be fun to do a ‘costumes I see around campus’ kind of post at the end of the day, as I’ll actually have a Halloween to enjoy this year sans Milo Yiannopoulos.
Which, by the way, it’s crazy that it has been a year since that whole debacle. That’s just also a story for another non-FEH post.
Thus I’ll leave you all with this: Why is Sacred Stones the best Fire Emblem game?
Kidding, you can disagree with that if you want. Just go ahead and think about the usual ‘who do you want to summon?’ and ‘who do you want to see next?’ kind of questions and get back to me if you want.
But honestly you should all just go enjoy Halloween. Do it for all the reporters covering nasty things who can’t this year. Because I certainly will.
P.S. — After I finished writing this and set it to publish, I got her with 15 orbs to spare.
Boy am I going to sleep happy tonight! And build a great Sacred Stones-themed team in the near future to boot~
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Time to ring the bell, as once again we have a brand new Legendary Hero to usher in on Fire Emblem Heroes. However like with Grima before her, this legend brings a brand new mechanic to shake up the game.
The very first green-colored bow in the game is Lyn’s Swift Mulagir. It’s effective against both armored and flying units, just like Kinshi Hinoka’s bow, but on top of that it grants her a natural +3 Resistance and +5 Attack/Speed during combat if there are more allies within two spaces than foes. Situational, but a nice boost in said situation. She also comes packed with the ability to Rally Defense and Resistance, the special skill Laws of Sacae that grants +4 to all stats if she’s attacked while surrounded by more allies than foes, Desperation to give her a follow-up attack when battling below 75 percent health and Speed Tactic to grant non-cavalry allies +6 speed at the start of each turn. When going into battle, she grants allies with a Wind blessing +3 Health and +2 Attack.
Side note: Legendary Lyn also has a dope attack animation where she zips around on-screen like a swordmaster in the Sacred Stones.
Lyn is… Okay. She’s not exactly special in my mind except for the fact that she’s our first green archer, which is the beginning of what will likely become a growing rainbow of physical ranged weapons. Her gimmick is clearly relying on having allies nearby to buff alongside herself, but as I mentioned above it’s a bit situational for my tastes.
I can see her skillset opening up a wonderful win-more condition, where she suddenly becomes infinitely better after eliminating a foe in the nearby area…
I’m just not sure that’s enough to convince me to spend a ton of orbs on her considering I just got done wasting everything on Hinoka (who I just got yesterday, by the way!)
However, like all other Legendary Hero banners, this one comes with a host of other special heroes to summon off an inherant eight percent chance:
Again, the hero spread outside of Lyn on this banner is… Okay at best. For me at least.
The Performing Arts heroes who return here aren’t the ones I necessarily felt a huge affection for, and I already have Inigo so I don’t need more of him. The halloween heroes are in the same boat, as I’ve had two Jakobs for a long time and have never been desperate for Henry.
On top of that, I already have every available Legendary Hero here outside of Lyn herself.
In this case all of the non-special heroes are actually the stand-outs. Genny is a character I’ve wanted for forever since she’s one of my favorite — if not my absolute favorite — Echoes unit. But in all the banners she’s arrived in previously I’ve never been able to summoned her.
Micaiah could also be fun, as could demonic Celica. Both are heroes I missed out on when they first arrived too.
So that begs the question. Have I summoned anyone yet?
Sometimes that free summon really does come in handy.
Henry may not be a character I care too much about, but I’ll certainly never complain about gathering a new special hero variant for my collection. Even if he is one of the more annoying units I’ve heard in-game…
Perhaps I’ll ship him with Christmas Lissa and take myself back to the good old days of Awakening pairings.
As my general ambivalence might suggest, I’m not planning on spending a lot of orbs on this Legendary banner. Particularly after spending so much on Hinoka.
But considering it’s now the month of May and May showers bring May orbs, I might just throw a few at Lyn or Genny. We’ll see.
The Legendary Grima banner introduced something new to the Legendary Hero formula that Lyn upholds: A special event map.
Check out my Hinoka! ❤
The Binding/Blazing Blade duo are games I haven’t had the chance to play, so I personally don’t have all that much to say about the actual map itself.
From osmosis, I believe I’ve picked up enough to know that this map is from the prologue mission where Lyn was first introduced… Which is actually the first thing everyone in America was exposed to out of the Fire Emblem lexicon. Not counting Smash Bros. of course.
But don’t hurt me if that isn’t true because it’s a little too early in the morning for me to bother confirming.
All I know is I love getting all the extra orbs.
All of them.
Just a short and sweet one for y’all today. I might have some more soon if the next Grand Conquest is significantly different than the first one, but otherwise Heroes should hopefully be quiet for a while.
I have to focus on finishing the last two weeks of this semester, after all.
In the meantime, what do you think about Legendary Lyn? Are there other heroes you’d like to see introduced with colored bows?
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.
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.
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!
As much as it’s better to be busy than bored, I’ve been a little stretched thin. Unfortunately that means some things have to fall through the cracks, and some big Fire Emblem Heroes stuff happens to be what fell through said cracks this time around. It’s a shame too, there have been multiple things that I otherwise would have loved to talk about in a more timely manner.
But look at me complaining about missing fun stuff because work and responsibilities got in the way. Probably time to move on to what I’m talking about today before the world’s smallest violin busts out a tune.
Since I gabbed about the game’s Brave Heroes update last time around, quite a few things have happened. First and foremost:
That’s right, I got me a special Lucy.
Humblebrag that may be, but Lucina is one of my favorite characters given her high prestige as my Super Smash Bros. 4 main fighter. So I’m excited about it and wanted to share it with the world.
The last Voting Gauntlet also wound up being much more of an intense game than I’ve seen in some time. As I predicted at the beginning of the competition, Ike won.
The guy is so popular that it was hard to imagine he wouldn’t, and I got off with plenty of hero feathers thanks to my lucky intelligent deduction, so you’ll hear no complains from me. Camilla did put up a good fight though, and the intense competition both in the overall Gauntlet and within my friend group (as we literally split down the middle with our support) made things way more engaging.
Also we got 4 orbs every two days for each of the three rounds. That’s a nice incentive as well. Feel free to keep nice stuff like that flowing, Intelligent Systems.
Then as things moved into September, we got an event calendar for the month that preempted a bunch of cool things coming in the near future:
A few of these events have started already, and those are the crux of what I’m here to talk about today. So let’s get going and split it up appropriately, shall we?
Ironically this version update is the biggest news to come out of Fire Emblem Heroes in a long time… Yet I don’t have a ton to say about it.
Fire Emblem has become known not only for its high difficulty strategy-RPG gameplay, but also for its comprehensive unit support systems across many of the games in the series. In Fire Emblem Heroes, only one of those things has been represented since the initial release.
Until now, that is.
Ally support systems are in the game, and with it comes endless possibilities for ships in serious and in meme-worthy contexts. As someone who has loved shipping in Fire Emblem games since my first venture into Sacred Stones, I’m more than excited to see that we can pair up characters to our hearts content.
Just like in the main series titles, allies who fight near one another in battle gain support rankings that range from C to S when undergoing support training. However, an interesting component to Heroes’ model comes from the fact that you can constantly switch who your hero supports. You could have an S-support with a unit only to break that off and start another one back at C, and you can do so as many times as you want.
While I haven’t had the chance to build much support beyond basic C-level stuff, it seems as though the characters interact in a cute little cutscene to show how much they enjoy each other’s company for every rank you climb. You can view the little vignettes that come with this whenever you want.
In battle, supporting allies gain bonuses depending on their rank and distance from one another:
C-rank grants units +1 resistance from one space away, double that when adjacent.
B-rank grants units +1 resistance and defense from one space away, double that when adjacent.
A-rank grants units +1 resistance, defense and speed from one space away, double that when adjacent.
S-rank grants units +1 resistance, defense, speed and attack from one space away, double that when adjacent.
However, on the battlefield itself, it doesn’t appear as though supporting units get special indication beyond a heart over the support partner when you select one or the other. Perhaps there’s more if you get higher that I haven’t seen, but in this case there’s no way for me to know.
I do hope they add in a small heart animation when units fight side by side though. That would be amazing.
The other interesting thing to note about ally support is that you, the summoner, can get in on the anime-themed shipping action as well!
That’s right, what would a modern Fire Emblem game be without a self-insert character to pair with any unit you desire? The concept behind how this works is exactly the same so long as you replace each instance of “two units” with “one unit,” as you technically count as the second presence in the room.
The scaling benefits are also slightly better for summoner supported allies:
A C-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance and +3 health at all times.
A B-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense and +4 health at all times.
An A-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense, speed and +4 health at all times.
An S-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense, speed, attack and +5 health at all times.
Okay by slightly better I actually mean infinitely better. These are some amazing stat buffs to be able to bestow upon one ally.
Which, of course, brings us to the question that serves as this post’s title.
Are you the kind of player that will pair your units together because you canonically love them as a pairing in the story of their games/the story of your imagination’s choosing?
Or are you the kind of player that will pair your units strictly to build the strongest team imaginable, letting no stat points go to waste?
Personally… I haven’t decided which category I am. In all other circumstances I would wholeheartedly go for option 1, as I ship literally anything and everything in any video game I play, TV show I watch, book I read and more. But for Fire Emblem Heroes the pure stat buffs are awfully tempting… Especially on my cavalier team.
I would kill for some high-leveled units to get even stronger.
But for the summoner support especially I’m at a loss. Who do I want to be with? Do I pair myself with a powerful unit like a Brave Lyn to make her a battling monster? Do I pair with a sentimental unit like Eirika from my favorite Fire Emblem game (despite her actual husband being available)? Or do I pair myself with a unit like Nino, my first true Fire Emblem Heroes waifu? I literally have no idea.
Oh well. I’ll have time to figure it out.
Overall, I would say the Ally Support system is a welcome addition to this mobile title that, despite being somewhat barebones right now, easily serves its purpose and has opened the flood gates for people to do whatever they please in terms of customizable relationships.
In a sense it’s somewhat ingenious to have the feature in a mobile game styled like Heroes is where each player can build their own experiences with unit pairing. Sure it’s only porting an already existing idea over, but I still think it lends itself uproariously well.
And if I ever summon her I’ll be able to finally get revenge on the restrictive Echoes by shipping Genny and Tobin.
While shipping is easily the biggest addition to Version 1.7.0, it isn’t the only one.
Though there isn’t a lot, so the pictures above basically sum everything up.
A search option for skill inheritance is a great idea, one that I’m sure already has, is continuing to and will from here on out save people tons of time when building teams. The rest of the stuff boils down to some aesthetic and deep mechanical adjustments that I don’t feel like I have to dive into that deeply.
If anything, I just think it’s safe to say that I appreciate the game developers for constantly updating things to make the best user experience possible. So far nothing they’ve done has failed me yet and it seems like the community as a whole enjoys the changes too.
Keep it up Intelligent Systems, and I’ll keep up giving you some free publicity whenever you start up new developments. New interesting developments.
New interesting developments such as –
Tempest Trials Mini: To Die on the Battlefield
A new Tempest Trial, which launched just today!
In other words, this is the section of this post that kept me from getting that much sleep last night. Thanks game, you always know how to prod at my insomniac button.
The Trials start off about how we’ve come to expect them at this point. Masked Lucina has teamed up with the four top Bonus Allies for this go around (Eliwood, Lyn, Hector and Ninian) to help lead them into the Tempest so they can protect their world.
However, she does warn them that the character at the end of the Trial is a special kind of foe:
After you break through the usual barrage of battles (seven at the highest Lunatic difficulty in my case), you come across that special foe. The build-up is intense, the anticipation is great, and in the end…
It’s Hector. Given the description Lucina gave for him I suppose it makes sense that this is the character who’d show up at the end, but I wouldn’t liked to see something more novel-
I’m sorry, what was that? 85 health?
And Distant Counter?
My god… This unit is completely overpowered.
I actually legitimately think it’s glorious just how overpowered he is. Hector is already considered to be one of the most powerful units in the game and they buffed him to high hell for this event. Thank god they keep units weak after you lose a fight, otherwise this might have been next to impossible. He actually beat down quite a few of my units before I was able to finally take him down the first time, ending the first of many future runs at the same challenges that I’ll be playing for the next week.
Oh, uhh… Also the background is pretty.
Hector kind of overshadows it, but I do think it’s quite nice. Thought that would be worth mentioning.
Mechanically speaking, not all that much is new this time around. Everything that has been added throughout the last couple of Tempest Trials runs have made their return, and I definitely appreciate their continued appearance. Weaker opponents upon losing a fight and switching to a new team still probably being my favorite. Though a close second is the two daily rounds of extra bonus points for completing runs on top of the separate daily rewards you receive for completing said runs that really encourage continued habit-building playing.
This particular event only lasting a week instead of two weeks (hence the “Mini” modifier) also means there are less reward tiers, making everything easier to collect. Bonus Allies become that much more worthwhile as a result, since they continue to boast stat boosts across the board on top of their value as point multipliers.
Now, it may sound like I just glossed over the idea that the event is shorter and has less rewards, which is something I’m sure plenty of people have found reason to complain about… But frankly I glossed over it because I think it’s rather nice.
As my very complaint-filled introduction at the beginning suggested, I don’t have a ton of time to spare as of late. Thus, having a smaller and more manageable event with easier goals to reach is a godsend if anything.
On top of that the rewards are so tightly packed that it feels like we’re getting plenty of bang for our buck in quantity.
Though that does bring up another point. These rewards are… Fairly disappointing overall.
Don’t get me wrong, things like free orbs are a commodity I’ll never complain about, and with my huge stockpile of Stamina Potions I have no doubt that all of those sweet little spheres will be in my inventory in no time flat. But these Trials tend to be known for big special prizes throughout the point accumulation process that serve as driving forces.
This run doesn’t really have that, for me at least.
Masked Lucina is the character reward, and even my love for her doesn’t change the fact that I already own a five-star version to use. Defense 1 and Quickened Pulse are also pretty ‘meh’ rewards, as they are Sacred Seals I already have (though I do encourage anyone who doesn’t have it to go after Quickened Pulse).
Distant Defense is brand new at least, and it certainly looks like it will be right at home on a bulky unit I own sometime soon. However, that’s about it beyond the orbs. Maybe I’m just feeling picky, which I know I shouldn’t considering there’s a full Tempest Trial coming at the end of the month that I’m sure will have all the cool stuff we could ask for.
One thing this trial does have going for it is a pretty dope summoning focus banner based on the Bonus Allies. Basically everyone on the list is a super cool and powerful hero to have, so even though I haven’t decided whether to use my own orbs yet I know the risk will certainly be worth it for some.
For now, however, I’m sticking with Masked Lucina as my main multiplier. Girl puts in work with those stat buffs.
Unless more comes up as I play through the next week of fights, that’s really all I have to say about these Trials. I like the idea that miniature versions can exist, and I hope that means more events will be encouraged in the future, but this particular run doesn’t add too much to the overarching plot line or the pile of special prizes we’ve seen in the past.
If nothing else it simply serves as a nice transition into a focus on some Blazing Blade content. Speaking of, how’s about we move into the next thing.
Bound Hero Battle: Ephraim & Eirika
Though I don’t normally talk about these events, the fact that Sacred Stones has been the focus makes it worth at least bringing up as a farewell of sorts.
The mid-to-late portion of August was spent in the world of Sacred Stones between new heroes and a Grand Hero Battle. By the looks of it, this event may be the last hurrah for it on Heroes for a while as things move into The Blazing Blade with the mini Tempest Trial.
Though I think it’s a shame, more than one game does deserve to have the spotlight. Life moves on and all that, so I’ll just look forward to the next shot we might get at Neimi. #NeverGiveUpNeverSurrender
In terms of the Bound Hero Battle itself there isn’t all that much to say. It features one difficult battle with three challenge levels that offer scaling rewards.
Hard mode gives out two orbs, Lunatic gives out three orbs and Infernal gives out a whopping four orbs. Nine orbs ain’t too shabby.
For the actual playable map itself, I can’t honestly decipher which map from the original game it’s trying to emulate. This one seems just a bit too simple to really give any substantial hints in my opinion, though it has been driving me crazy enough that I tried doing some outside research on the matter.
Oh, and as an added note, thank god for Serenes Forest having these maps available to see. If it didn’t my wall would probably have a very distinct Jason-shaped hole in it right about now.
The Bound Hero Battle also comes with a summoning banner featuring Eirika, Ephraim and Seth. The only one on the list that I don’t personally own is Ephraim, and considering he’s also on another banner that’s running at the same time…
I probably won’t be summoning off of this focus. Sorry Ephraim, I’ll snatch you up eventually.
Boy oh boy that was a lot. On the bright side, I think that should cover my personal obligation to talk about Fire Emblem Heroes for a good while.
Or for at least a week. At which point we get new heroes according to the schedule. Then we’ll get another Bound Hero Battle, a full Tempest Trials run and some Fire Emblem Warriors-themed maps after that.
… Yeah alright, maybe there’s more coming up than I expected. Guess it’ll give me a nice break from the already ever-present slog of school if I make the time to talk about them.
Which of course I will, so look forward to some of that!
How do you feel about character pairings coming to the mobile Fire Emblem hit? Or about the prospects of a potentially more frequent miniature version of the Tempest Trials? Or about the many events coming down the pipeline? Let me know in the comments below!
Just about two weeks after the game’s initial launch, Fire Emblem Heroes has received a new set of downloadable content that, despite being small, gives me some hope that this mobile game will keep itself in the hands of fans for some time to come;
Yes that’s right, new heroes have arrived. Two heroes from games that haven’t had characters in the mobile title yet, I might add. Eirika and Ephraim have arrived from The Sacred Stones, meanwhile Seliph and Julia have arrived from Genealogy of the Holy War.
While no other characters from those two games have been added yet (unfortunately), the fact that new heroes are being added this soon after the game’s launch is a good sign compared to certain other titles I’ve seen handle this kind of system in less than impressive ways. In fact, the model of launching just a few heroes at a time in this manner might be a little frustrating for players like me who want more of their favorites to arrive in droves, but it makes sense as a strategy to consistently space out content in a game where there’s plenty of potential content just waiting to be unleashed.
It isn’t just the four new characters to summon that give me hope for Fire Emblem Heroes, either. There have also been new Paralogue story maps added to the game, much in the same fashion of extra missions appearing in main series Fire Emblem titles.
The Paralogue boast its own bit of branching story from the main story mode with three maps that each award an orb for completion. With three difficulty levels on each of these maps too, all together they give players nine more orbs for their collections. With this, anyone can be at least a solid halfway to another full summoning session.
Nine orbs alone may not seem like a lot, but considering these extra orbs were added in just two weeks after launch, there’s plenty of promise that many Prologues will be added in the near future. Between this, the two daily orbs and whatever extra orb rewards are given through quests, summoning heroes after burning through the 135 main story reward orbs should still be a rather attainable goal.
Speaking of quests, that’s another reason why this small update shows promise in extending the shelf life of Fire Emblem Heroes.
New quests were added specifically pertaining to the Family Bonds Summoning Event, and though some of the goals are a long shot to complete (such as the ones that require the special focus heroes to be used), they are just another example of how goods will continue to be dispersed to players over time.
I’ve been enjoying Fire Emblem Heroes way more than I ever expected the past few weeks. Super Mario Run, while a really fun game (for reasons I’ve discussed previously that I still stand by), feels a little constrained by its smaller maps and limited main story content. I still go back to it, but even when I first started playing I didn’t find myself returning as religiously throughout the day as I do now with Fire Emblem.
Of course, part of what makes the game so fun is having a few close friends just as invested as I am, giving us things to talk about throughout the day. Whether it be about someone’s terrible summons or the daily event that just arrived, it’s interesting to see the different ways we’re all experiencing it.
To make a long story short, as I write this sentence I’m playing out a few maps to earn some new orbs so I can build up to summoning again. The game is just that addictive and I look forward to every moment I’m playing it.
And I say that not only because Sacred Stones heroes have officially shown up.