If you missed part one of this two-part posting session on the Fire Emblem Heroes updates this week — which are frankly only connected by coincidental timing and the fact that I’m bringing it to your attention up top — check out the Version 2.6.0 update post through this link!
Whenever Heroes updates, the developers tend to package that update together with a new summoning focus and story missions. Version 2.6.0 was no exception, as it brought us new heroes from the Blazing Blade.
Except retroactively put ‘new’ in quotes because not all of them are new.
But I’ll discuss that as soon as I get through my discussion on the merit of these new units!
Nino — Pale Flower
- Giga Excalibur (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
- Grants +3 Speed. If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, boosts damage dealt by 70 percent of the difference between stats (Maximum bonus of +7 damage, combos with Phantom Speed).
- Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
- Treats foe’s Defense or Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
- Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
- If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
- Aerobatics (B Skill)
- Unit can move to a space adjacent to any infantry, armored or cavalry unit within two spaces.
- Speed Smoke (C Skill)
- Inflicts -7 Speed on foes within two spaces of target through their actions after combat.
Nino has been one of my favorite units in Heroes since the game first came out. I never played Blazing Blade, but when I summoned the green mage for the first time I loved the way her art looked and she quickly become a unit I used so much that she was the first I ever upgraded to a five-star through hero feathers. She was also the first unit I built-up with skill inheritance.
While that should theoretically make me more excited to see this new Nino… It’s kind of the opposite, honestly. That’s not because of her skills. If anything, she’s got a weapon with a dope animation (though the effect just seems okay at best) and has some effective power behind a glass canon speedy attacker build. Plus Aerobatics feels like it would be broken on a physical unit, if somewhat situational on a mage.
What really bugs me about her is the fact that she’s continuing a trend of units getting alternate forms outside of holiday events. First came cavalier Eirika, then Kinshi Hinoka. While I was willing to blow all my orbs on Hinoka because she was a dope new alternate, as a whole I find I really dislike the practice of taking the slot of fan-favorite characters who have yet to be introduced into the game and giving them to units who already are. During special occasions like holidays it makes sense, but the main banners should be reserved for new units like promised.
It just kind of feels like Intelligent Systems is hoping to pad out how long they can milk this game… Even though there are 20 billion units waiting to be introduced, and at the rate of three-to-five units being added every other week it certainly doesn’t seem like they’re close to drying up anytime soon.
But that’s enough ranting for now, we have two other heroes to discuss.
Karla — Sword Vassal
- Vassal’s Blade (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
- Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, boosts damage dealt by 70 percent of the difference between stats (Maximum bonus of +7 damage, combos with Phantom Speed).
- Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
- Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
- Wrath (B Skill)
- At the start of a turn, if unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit’s attack triggers a Special Attack, grants Special Attack cooldown -1. Deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
- Even Speed Wave (C Skill)
- At the start of even-numbered turns, grants +6 Speed to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (Bonus granted to unit even with no allies adjacent).
I’ve heard lots of people calling Karla just a weaker version of Ayra, a unit we’ve already got that is considered one of the most broken in the game. I suppose I can’t argue with that, since I don’t have Ayra to compare her to, but at the same time I think Karla appears to do the job she’s been given exceedingly well based on her skill set.
Both Vassal’s Blade and Wrath are clearly focused on increasing the power and activation timing of her Special Attack, Draconic Aura. Though I imagine there are far better Special Attacks to give her out there, most if not all of them will likely be impressive. On top of that, Even Speed Wave is a nice buff to a team’s stats in a form that has thus far only been seen with Ishtar.
Long story short, I like the cut of her jib.
Legault — The Hurricane
- The Cleaner (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
- Adds total bonuses on foe to damage dealt during combat. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
- Glimmer (Cooldown = 2)
- Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
- Swift Strike (A Skill)
- If unit initiates combat, grants Speed and Resistance +4 during combat.
- Attack Tactic (C Skill)
- At the start of a 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 is ≤ two.
In my opinion, Legault feels like he’s just on the outskirts of being the greatest dagger-wielding unit in the game.
His weapon The Cleaner just needed to have its text slightly adjusted. Instead of buffing Legault’s damage by the bonuses tacked onto the foe, it should have given him damage buffs based on the bonuses on his person. It should have been a Blade Tome Dagger, in other words.
Without it, Legault is rather basic with Glimmer, Swift Strike and Attack Tactic. There really isn’t anything special about him. I seriously just don’t have anything to say about the guy, he’s the lowest on the totem pole of units I want to summon on this particular banner.
To be totally blunt about this banner right off the bat, I probably won’t be spending a lot of time or orbs on these three units. After Legendary Ryoma quite literally bled me dry for nothing, I’m not exactly looking to spend anything on any unit until building my stockpile up again, to be fair.
But these three specifically don’t excite me that much on top of that. Like I said before, Nino would have been top of the list for my emotional connection to her in Heroes at least, but I’m internally protesting the practice IS has been using by not pining after her.
My orbs will probably be better spent either on the 2018 brides banner (which I still haven’t gotten anything out of) or on whatever summer-themed banner I’m sure will inevitably be coming out in the next few weeks.
That or I’ll just fill my coffers with orbs and feel better about myself. Having a security fund in this game is a magical thing, honestly.
Because I’m not planning on summoning too much here, I don’t have a section about my summoning experiences to share. So instead, let’s jump right into some story, because it’s a quintessential example of my favorite FEH meme:
With a story chapter and mission both named ‘The King’s Demise,’ there’s no way we aren’t getting some plot all up in here.
Following the defeat of Helbindi in Chapter 9, the Order of Heroes continue to make their way into Múspell with hopes of defeating King Surtr once and for all. In general, the aesthetic of the land of fire isn’t my favorite when compared to the beautiful tundra environments and glassy castles of Nifl, but it’s serviceable and well done.
I do like Surtr’s throne room in particular, it reminds me of something I might build as an intimidating throne room with my friends in Minecraft. But that’s beside the point — we’re a long way away from his throne room at the start of the chapter.
Things kick off with the team conversing on how to best get to the King. Form’s youngest sibling offers her advice to move through the forest to get there having heard to do so from her prior captors.
I do still subscribe to the theory that Ylgr is actually the shapeshifter Loki in disguise, as her extensive knowledge of the area might help suggest, but the game doesn’t really drop any more hints regarding that through this chapter. So we’ll see.
That resolve becomes a motif throughout the chapter, however.
See, during the first and last missions it’s referenced quite a bit. Those are typically the most important parts of every chapter, after all.
The middle three tend to just be brief introductions to the characters who have been added into the game.
The Blazing Blade units feel like they were shafted somewhat in that regard. Besides the funny coincidence of their game’s name having ‘blazing’ in it, the added characters feel a bit out-of-place in the hellish land of Múspell and don’t get too much time to converse, something which may have helped otherwise.
There is a nice little continuity of throwing all the other members of the Black Fang into the missions to fit with Nino and Legault… But Karla feels very out-of-place as a result.
I don’t know, maybe my feelings toward the units in general colored my opinion of their appearance in-game, but I just wasn’t a huge fan of this one in that regard.
So instead I’m just going to focus solely on the conflict with the King.
When the Order clears out Legault on the first map, he drops some mad foreshadowing.
Then once the Blazing Blade units have all been routed, the Order makes it to his castle, ready for battle. It’s a battle that has been built up for 10 chapters now, with the game showcasing all of Surtr’s brutality through cutscenes and invincibility through battles.
It’s a battle that has been 10 chapters in the making through the quest for the Rite of Ice that brought about conflict in Nifl, the death of Gunnthrá and some strange sickness in Fjorm.
In other words?
It has been the progenitor of maximum lore.
That hope, it is revealed, is the magical power granted to the player character’s summoning gun weapon (because yes that’s still a thing) granted through the Rite of Ice.
When it’s utilized, the protection spell that brings the king invincibility disappears:
With the battle made more fair, Surtr is finally defeated.
There’s a pretty hilarious dissonance at this point in the game, for me at least, watching the all-powerful lord of flames who has been built up for so long finally be defeated…
By a level 40 unit that has a weapon triangle advantage while he’s sitting at about level 15. In one hit. With him unable to do anything in return.
Gotta love when game mechanics usurp plot armor.
Granted he is much tougher in the lunatic-level fight, but that’s a different story.
Once Surtr is defeated, the Order celebrates.
Apparently, the Fire ritual that gave Surtr his power also prevents him from dying.
Because sometimes plot armor has to usurp game mechanics as well. God bless the push-and-pull of game development.
If I had to inject my own theorizing into the game’s story, I’d say the revival of Surtr (and some other details yet to come) are indicators of us only being halfway through Book II. Following a proper hero’s journey — because that would be fitting for FEH, wouldn’t it? — this is the halfway point where all seems hopeless before we find a way to build up to the ultimate climax.
Because Surtr’s description indicates he’s a descendant of the Fire Dragon, I’m under the impression we’ll eventually get to fight that dragon.
Plus there are other plot points that have yet to be resolved:
- Where did Veronica go? Obviously she’s still summoning units for Múspell, but they said they would be using her as a ritual sacrifice. Will that be the next major plot device?
- Is Ylgr secretly Loki? Also, what is Loki’s plan in all this? The bridal Tempest Trial indicated she’s the mother of Laevatein, so is she just in it for the king and her daughter? Or is that a lie and she has ulterior motives?
There are more, but we’ll get to that.
When Surtr is revived, the team is distraught and forced to retreat.
Yeah… He’s kind of a dick, too.
A very, very overconfident dick.
Perhaps. Time will tell in that regard.
After that retreat, the scene cuts away to a post-battle discussion between the king’s daughters that serves to set up where everything seems to be going next.
So we’ve got that going for us.
These two dialogue boxes alone are rather interesting in my opinion. The first is a reference to the way Fjorm treated Laegjarn so amicable when she was captured following the battle in Nifl (featuring Chrom and the two Morgans).
If my shipper’s heart is to read into it… I’m led to believe Laegjarn might just have a crush on the ice princess based on that. Though it could just be a mutual respect and admiration. But I’d giggle if it were the prior.
The second seems to set up that the final Nifl sibling will become relevant to the plot from here on out.
Perhaps the next Legendary Hero will be a surprise appearance from the eldest Nifl royal? That or he’ll simply arrive in the story to help lead a charge against Surtr once the next path to weakening him is discovered.
I just hope he’s a more well utilized character than Celica’s brother in Echoes, who was a cool masked cavalier that felt wasted once he was actually turned into a unit… Like… three-quarters of the way through the game.
That’s right, #EchoesShade. Don’t @ me, gamers.
With the story fading to black from there, leaving our heroes on a low note that makes it seem as though all is lost — but throwing in a glimpse of hope to cut through the darkness — I’ve officially run out of things to say.
Overall I appreciate the hero’s journey that has been set up in the long-term, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the developers do with it.
How do you feel about the way the story is developing?
Plus, let me know what you think of the brand new heroes from Blazing Blade in the comments down below!