Grants Speed +3. At start of combat, if unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, grants Attack and Speed +4 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.
Sorcery Blade (A Skill)
At start of combat, if unit is adjacent to a magic ally, calculates damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance.
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.
Speed Tactic (C Skill)
At start of turn, grants Speed +6 to allies within two spaces for one turn. Granted only if number of ally’s movement type on current team ≤ 2.
Grants Defense +3. At start of turn, deals 20 damage to foes within two spaces.
Bonfire (Cooldown = 3)
Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Defense.
Steady Stance (A Skill)
If foe initiates combat, grants Defense +8 during combat and inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
Wary Fighter (B Skill)
If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, unit and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Surtr’s Menace (C Skill)
At start of turn, if unit is within two spaces of a foe, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 for one turn and inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on foes within two spaces through their next actions.
I think this is the first time in the history of Fire Emblem Heroes that we’ve had only two new characters on a banner. The acuteness is intriguing from a historic perspective, but also because it’s that much easier for me to talk about them both together!
First we have Nilf’s youngest royal sibling, Ylgr. Her natural skill set seems to fit well with her character.
Given the girl’s small stature, this makes sense that she’s focused primarily on speed.
Her unique colored dagger, Chill Speed and Speed Tactic all focus on debuffing an opponent’s speed and incurring buffs when she’s faster. She’ll be a perfect candidate for the Flashing Blade Sacred Seal, that way she’ll gain stat buffs and a Special Cooldown charge.
The only strange thing about Ylgr is her unique A Skill, which lets her hit the opponent’s weaker defense stat if she’s with a mage. Seems somewhat impractical?
Perhaps they want us to run her alongside her sister Gunnthrá, who also works on lowering Speed.
King Surtr has skills equally fitting his stature in that he’s large, imposing and overwhelms his enemies. Everyone within two spaces of the guy takes 20 damage and loses 4 points in each stat EVERY turn. It’s kind of nuts, especially considering he gains +4 to each stat at the same time.
That’s like a natural +8. To Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance.
Arguably Surtr’s only problem is that he would be far better with Distant Counter so he could hit everyone within two spaces that are debuffed. Plus… There are a ton of Distant Counter green armored units that fill his niche.
However, both units are pretty cool. Worth summoning I’d say!
Though, even if I’ve accumulated a small fortune of ~240 orbs in my silent protest against the Adrift banner, I don’t want to spend them all on these two. I’ll keep everything above 200 at least, just in case something better comes around soon.
I really haven’t pulled anything of note just yet. Mainly some fodder for skills to inherit later.
Thus I keep working on orb accumulation. Luckily there’s a whole bunch of extra orbs in story and special maps this time around!
For the first time in a long time, we have a Xenologue. Essentially a continuation of the main story, but framed as a short bridge between the end of Book II and Book III.
Oh, and by short I mean just one map with a bit of dialogue.
The scene opens with Surtr waking up following his death by the hands of the Order of Heroes. He receives word from a mysterious new figure that his powers will posthumously taken on by them. Only for him to be told that they are:
Apparently, Hel assumes that one such group unworthy of a greater reward is… Well…
Soon after the reveal of the next Book’s villain, the Order encounters Loki who talks about how she’s after Hel in some capacity. She wants the power on her side, or some such deal.
Plus she allude to Sharena being important in the next Book’s story, which is nice considering Alfonse wound up having the spotlight in Book II.
That’s essentially that, however. I consider this Xenologue a simple ‘come back in December for more’ tidbit that gave us nine extra orbs.
But wait, there’s more!
Yes we’ve got three separate special maps based on the Book II characters. They don’t have any extra dialogue or anything, just an additional four orbs each.
If I were a suspicious man, I would think Intelligent Systems is fattening us up so we’ll be ready for some big banners coming soon.
But when have I ever ben a suspicious man? Haha.
Anyway, that’s all we’ve got for the day! A quick two units, a quick Xenologue.
Simple and clean.
I think I’m going to take the cue and leave things with a sparse conclusion. Let me know what you think of these new units, and what you’re expecting out of the upcoming Book III!
It’s certainly going to be exciting to cover, if you ask me.
Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). At the start of turn 1, grants Special Attack cooldown -1 for each magic ally on your team, including unit.
Rally Up Attack (Range = 1)
Grants Attack +6 to target ally and allies within two spaces of target, excluding this unit, for one turn.
Blazing Light (Cooldown = 4)
Before combat this unit initiates, foes in an area near target take damage equal to 1.5 times (unit’s Attack minus foe’s Defense or Resistance).
Sturdy Blow (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
Chill Resistance (B Skill)
At start of turn, inflicts Resistance -7 on foe with the highest Resistance through its next action.
Ophelia stands out pretty well on her own for just being an amazing character. As Odom’s daughter, her in-game posture and overly fantastical dialogue are just great. As a unit in FEH, however, she suffers from having to fit into a blue tome pool that’s already fantastic. Thanks to her special Missiletainn spell and new Assist skill, she does actually present an interesting opportunity to create a mage-only team that’s glued together by her specialty. It’s something I’m actually interested in trying, so she’s pretty cool for that as well.
Effective against flying foes. If foe’s Defense (greater than or equal to) foe’s Resistance +5, deals +7 damage.
Draw Back (Range = 1)
Unit moves one space away from target ally. Ally moves to unit’s previous space.
Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
Treats foe’s Defense/Resistance as If reduced by 30 percent during combat.
Speed/Resistance Link (B Skill)
If a Movement Assist Skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Speed and Resistance +6 to both units for one turn.
Bow Valor (C Skill)
While unit lives, all bow allies on team get 2x Skill Points (only highest value applies, does not stack).
Despite being one of my favorite child units from Fates, Nina’s base kit in FEH is a little underwhelming. Her bow is very situational, and even if Draw Back/Link is a great combination who knows how they’ll play well together with the base weapon.
Plus that C Skill is outright useless unless you’re doing very specific grinding.
So with some investment Nina could be a solid unit, but I’m more interested in her for her personality than her viability in all honesty.
If foe initiates combat, grants Defense +6 during combat.
Even Defense Wave (C Skill)
At start of even-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).
Out of all the units on this banner, Silas is kind of the odd man out. Literally in that he’s the only man in the group, but also just in that the rest of the banner is child units and Flora, who’s kind of a weird special case.
But he’s a cool character as well, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
That said, I’m least interested in summoning Silas due to how generally uninteresting his basic skill set is. Like yeah he’s a good defensive lance cavalry, but that’s kind of it.
Ophelia certainly outclasses him in intrigue on the blue stones, and it’s a shame that they’re stuck in there together. Just begging to cuck some poor player out of their orbs.
Accelerates Special Attack cooldown (-1). If unit initiates combat and foe uses a sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense +20 during combat, and if foe can counter, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
Attack/Resistance Solo (A Skill)
If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +6 during combat.
Quick Riposte (B Skill)
If unit’s Health (greater than or equal to) 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
Defense Plot (C Skill)
At start of turn, inflicts Defense -5 on foes in cardinal directions with Resistance < unit’s Resistance through their next actions.
Now Flora. Is a very interesting unit, to say the least.
She has easily the longest weapon description in the game, which is hilarious by itself until you consider the fact that it’s kind of a broken weapon. +20 Defense on a unit that already has stellar Resistance is kind of crazy. Combined with her other skills, she becomes a walking wall who runs into enemy territory on her own, which is an intriguing play style.
Even though I feel like Close Counter would be good on her but that would conflict with the new Solo skill she boasts.
On top of that, she’s also the first colored dagger unit to be in our primary, not special event-specific summoning pool. So that’s kind of awesome.
Good on you for standing our Flora. As my secondary Fates waifu I’m proud of you.
I’ve come to find that it’s a bit silly to do the charade of “here’s what I want,” and “let’s see how lucky I am” leading into my summoning luck. Because let’s break the fourth wall here, I write all of these well after experiencing the story mode and doing my initial summons.
So I’m just going to cut to the chase. Got myself two of the three characters I actually care about already:
Ophelia here is totally neutral in terms of stats, and Flora has a Speed boon. Can’t really complain either way!
The only person of interest I’m currently missing is Nina, as Silas — for as good a character as he is — doesn’t seem super great. Plus, I’m of the camp currently assuming he’ll be demoted to four star status after this banner passes.
So there’ll be time for him.
But I would still like to have Nina. If for no other reason than the fact that I can make the perfect ship with Soleil that Fates never allowed.
Like come on IS, making Soleil only able to have a lesbian relationship with Corrin was pretty dumb. Soleil and Nina were meant to be together.
But I digress.
After all, cliché transition about getting orbs from the story mode to summon.
Except this time, the story of Book II is actually concluding with this installment. So we have an extra special layer of intrigue!
It’s a bit odd how quickly IS decided to push through the end of this story. Typically we have to wait until the previous banner with a main story tie-in ends before getting the next one, but this time they decided to throw it in after the Brave Heroes banner cycled out — despite our last Genealogy banner still being available.
I suppose I can’t complain though. I’ve been looking forward to see how this wraps up after all.
Turns out they decided to take a much darker approach than I would have expected.
See it all begins with King Surtr torturing his daughter Laevatein because of how often she’s failed to stop the Order of Heroes now that they’re approaching his sacred ritual temple.
Her sister, Laegjarn, offers herself as a surrogate to take on the power of Múspell’s legendary dragon, a power they all know kills whoever takes it on.
As soon as the Order arrives thanks to the map Loki gave them at the end of the last chapter, they encounter Laegjarn for one final fight.
Once defeated, she dies. But not before begging the Order — and Fjorm in particular, who she’d bonded with earlier on — to protect her younger sister.
There’s also this kind of morbid part where she comments that her eyes have burned out her skull?
I’m not entirely sure whether that’s literal, but either way it’s pretty intense for a gotcha mobile game.
Oh, and let’s not forget, there’s also that cliché “could we have been friends in another circumstance” speech she gives before passing on.
It’s an emotional scene and everything… But that emotion is kind of undermined by the fact that some data miners found out the Múspell family members are going to be recruitable units eventually.
So the whole exchange just wound up being kind of hilarious in meta hindsight. Everyone assumed we’d be getting her after this chapter… But then she died.
I think that’s funny, at least.
Anyway, as the Order moves on we get to watch a B plot unfold with Veronica and Ylgr stuck in a jail cell together.
It’s kind of fun seeing Ylgr’s more immature personality bounce off of Veronica’s cold, gruff isolationist sentimentality.
But that’s quickly broken off when Helbindi comes to save the two by getting them out. He plays it off as just doing it because, but those of us with context clues know he sees Ylgr as a surrogate for his own sister who was just recently slaughtered by Surtr.
Long story short, Surtr isn’t a great dude.
We get even more evidence of that in the very next scene when Surtr actually shows up after Helbindi sends the girls off on their own.
And then he dies. So that’s 2/3 down.
As Veronica and Ylgr keep running through the maze of a temple, they eventually run into Laevatein, who’s pretty upfront with the fact that she knows how shitty her father is but also doesn’t want him to kill her.
Yeah. Shout out to daddy issues? I guess.
But then, completely out of the blue, Bruno finally makes an appearance around the same time that the Order converges:
It was pointed out to me that this is actually the first time Bruno has shown up on-screen this entire Book, so it’s a bit of a deus ex machina to save Veronica.
Especially considering he has maybe… Two lines? For the entire chapter.
But hey, he’s here. That’s just kinda cool by itself.
With all of her rivals gathered in one place, Laevatein fights and then prepares to do the same blood ritual her sister did upon losing as a last-ditch effort.
But Fjorm stops her, letting her know that Laegjarn’s last wish was that she be safe and protected.
It’s actually a scene that’s very reminiscent of the end of Fates in the Birthright and Conquest paths, ironically enough.
Laevatein decides to live on and escape, that way she can take over her father’s empire once he’s defeated so she can make a much more peaceful regime.
I like the idea of her becoming the ruler a lot, but I’m a bit disappointed that they don’t play with it too much here. This is actually about the last time we see Laevatein for now, so outside of a reference to her at the end it’s sort of the end of her arc.
But hey, at least she didn’t die.
Oh yeah, also. We get official confirmation that Xander is fine after Veronica was taken away.
It’s a bit silly that they break away for a moment to let us know about this, but I do really appreciate the closure it provides.
The scene makes for a good bit of lightheartedness before jumping straight into the final battle.
Fjorm has a great moment of calling him out on his shit:
Then the duel begins.
It’s actually a relatively hard fight even on the easy difficulty, so I’ll give IS some credit for making a nice final boss.
But once he’s defeated, he is officially killed by those he’s scorned.
From there we enter an epilogue that wraps everything up in a… Kind of sloppy bow.
As I mentioned, it’s implied that Laevatein takes over Múspell, but we never actually see her again.
Veronica and Bruno just disappear off on their own to do whatever it is they’re doing, probably setting up the story of Book III.
Hríd and Ylgr are set to go back to Nifl, rebuild and have the older brother take over as King in the memory of Gunnthrá and their mother.
However, Fjorm decides to stay with the Order. Apparently, it’s only just now revealed that taking part in the Rite of Frost will lead to her dying, so as she says:
She’ll be staying with you until her inevitable death, apparently.
Which again is somewhat morbid to think about… Until you conflate it with video game mechanics and realize the fact that she’s on your team at all means she’ll live forever.
Yeah. Good emotional punch without too much follow-through.
And that’s all for Book II. After probably close to a year’s worth of development, this arc in Fire Emblem Heroes history is finally over.
As I stated a number of times during the early chapters, I really enjoyed watching a sort of small mobile game take on an overarching tale with interesting plotting and characters… Even when it got kind of goofy.
At the end I can pretty confidently say that it was worth following. So, I’m looking forward to seeing where the team goes with Book III!
That’s really about all I have to say about the end of the story and these new heroes.
I tried something a bit different with this post, trimming down on the wordiness in the character section and trying to be a little less picture-heavy in the story section. I think together those changes might make these posts a bit easier to put together and a little shorter, with more opportunities to use my own voice on them.
So let me know what you think about this style in the comments, when you’re also telling me about your thoughts on the new heroes and all those other calls to action I like throwing in.
I know nobody ever does them but hey. I like to leave open the opportunity.
Grants Speed +3. If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and unit initiates combat, unit can make a follow-up attack before foe can counterattack.
Glitter (Cooldown = 2)
Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
Special Spiral (B Skill)
If Special Attack triggers before or during combat, grants Special Attack cooldown count -2 after combat.
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).
Normally I would do an analysis of each new character after their skill breakdown, but I’m going to skip out on that for a number of reasons. Mostly the fact that I’m already pretty late on this and have a lot more to write, but also because I don’t have too much of a personal connection to Genealogy of the Holy War.
So like. None of these characters mean much to me at a deeper level.
However, there are some benefits to each that I can acknowledge.
Thanks to his signature weapon and Steady Posture skill, Quan looks like he’s a pretty great offensive unit against physical attackers. He does a bunch of damage while gaining a big defense buff. Not quite as cool a cavalry unit as Sigurd, but still useful.
There’s never anything wrong with more dancers, and Silvia certainly is one of those. She may be a sword-weilding infantry unit like many others are, but her Barrier Blade at least seems like a great weapon to pass around to other units.
Lewyn is probably the most interesting and unique unit on the banner thanks to his brand new B skill Special Spiral. Utilizing it essentially means that he’ll be able to activate Glimmer every turn after activating it once, and that’s super cool. Arguably my favorite on the banner, a higher priority if I didn’t have +10 Nino in my army.
Unfortunately, these positives don’t outweigh my overall ambivalence toward this banner. After spending a whole heck of a lot of orbs on the Legendary Marth banner (which didn’t get me Marth) and on the 2018 Brave Heroes banner (which has gotten me all of the Brave Heroes except for Hector), I was in pretty dire straits regarding my stash.
Since then, thanks in part to the September quests and these new story quests, I’m back up around 100 orbs. But I’m planning on going back into storage mode, collecting as many as I can for a rainy day.
I’d hate for them to drop Neimi when I had zero orbs on hand, after all.
So I utilized my free summon:
Didn’t get a whole hell of a lot, and moved on.
Sorry guys, but you’re just not on my radar at the moment. Hopefully I can summon you all in the regular unit pool one day.
Luckily, I’m much more interested in the story that came with this new banner.
Chapter 12 begins with the aftermath of the “bombshell” that there might be a traitor hiding amongst the Order of Heroes.
I call it a bombshell only in quotes because I already had a huge rant about what a dumb, lazy storytelling tool it is to try a whodunit-type mystery when there is a canonical character in the main story who shapeshifts to cause mischief.
Like. We all know it’s going to be the shapeshifter. Don’t even try to hide it.
Spoiler alert, they don’t really try to hide it. I actually respect the way they do handle the big reveal, but I’ll get to that. Let’s start at the beginning.
Yes Anna, yes I do.
Of course Fjorm, oblivious to the fact that shapeshifting is a concern when it comes to her family members who both miraculously escaped from being held captive, defends her older brother and younger sister.
If I sound more than a little unimpressed with how things progress here, don’t worry about it. I’m just cynical and jaded.
There are actually some cool things in this chapter.
For example, this confirmation by Prince Hríd that Surtr’s ritual needs two sacrifices.
After you receive that warning, the missions are uneventful for a bit. Up until Helbindi shows up to stand in your way once again… Only to receive some news.
This is actually pretty sad. The only reason he continued to fight was because Surtr’s daughters told him they would convince the king to spare Helbindi’s family.
He can’t say anything after hearing the news. It’s the last time we hear from him for the rest of this chapter. Especially for this game, that’s pretty heavy.
Unfortunately that heartfelt moment is soon followed by a completely stupid, pointless thing.
At the beginning of the fifth battle, Fjorm is woken up by her sister — who everyone essentially predicted was just Loki in disguise since she joined your forces.
She reveals the fact that she was the traitor all along and poisons Fjorm, supposedly showing the source of her harsh cough.
It’s interesting, to say the least…
Except then Fjorm wakes up. Because it was all just a dream.
People like that trope, right?
Frankly it doesn’t upset me that they used the false dream trope so much as it upsets me that the very next cutscene makes the entire dream sequence pointless.
Because after Fjorm wakes up from her nightmare, Alfonse calls her into a war council to tell her about his suspicions that Ylgr is the spy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I respect the fact that Intelligent Systems acknowledged the plot points that led to players theorizing about who the traitor. That’s a much better way to handle this than trying to convince us all the characters had no idea something like this could be possible.
I just still don’t understand why we needed the fake moment with a dream sequence if there was a much better reveal in real life literally seconds later.
But I digress.
Alfonse also calls out the Ice Prince as being equally guilty of having been shape shifted, and Loki reveals that all his suspicions were correct.
Then the final fight begins.
It isn’t that hard, honestly.
So afterwards Loki decides to hand you a map for a secret entrance to Surtr’s ritual chamber that way you can go infiltrate it and battle him.
Because you know. She has ulterior motives.
We found out that much when she was searching for the legendary dragons of Nohr and Hoshido during the special Festival banner.
So yeah, that’s the story. I pretty much wore my heart on my sleeve while writing this portion, meaning I don’t think I have to say too much more. It had some good stuff, but for the most part the bad stuff was pretty frustrating.
But hey, now that the dumb traitor B story is out-of-the-way, we can finally move on and save a bunch of little girls from being thrown into a fire. Which is arguably the more fun thing happening here.
Until we get that next chapter, however, how about we take a look at the other major FEH update that came out this week.
Oh Version 2.9.0. Like with the new Genealogy heroes, nothing about you really excited me enough to jump on it right away. It’s a bit of a basic update compared to most of the others, so I felt justified tacking it onto the end of this post.
For instance, one of the biggest parts of the update isn’t actually a thing in the game yet.
Rally Defense is a new game mode that is essentially the same thing as Rival Domains, except focused solely on defending the territory you own for eight turns rather than trying to take over the opponent’s territory.
I’m not a huge fan of ‘survive’ missions like this, but if there are orbs involved I won’t be too upset.
Arguably the most exciting thing about any new update is older heroes gaining weapon refineries. This time around is no exception, in my opinion.
Odin has been at the bottom of the game’s tier list pretty much since his inclusion at Version 1.0.0. He’s a really bad unit. But now his blade tome has an upgrade which grants him +6 Attack and Speed whenever he uses an assist skill like Reposition. I’m… Not sure that makes him too much better, but at least it has some good synergy with itself.
Cherche probably gets the biggest buff of the three. Her axe is now a Brave Axe, meaning it hits twice, and it comes equipped with Panic Smoke. I don’t know if she has great Resistance to make use of this as a whole, but being able to turn all of an opponent’s buffs into debuffs is great no matter the circumstance.
I’m not completely sure why Celica got a buff here, as it seems like she was already a pretty decent unit in her own right. However, legendary weapons getting legendary refines is kind of the norm, and Ragnarok’s new addition is Brazen Attack/Speed, giving her huge buffs when she dips below a certain range of Health. I don’t own an OG Celica so I can’t say much about how useful it is, but it’s cool to see her get a great addition.
New refines aren’t the only skill-based change in this update. We also got something brand new known as the Combat Manuals system.
I feel like the game puts this into somewhat confusing terms, so essentially what you need to know is that excess units in your barracks can be converted into manuals.
By doing so, that unit no longer takes up space that you could use to summon another unit and their skills can be retained for inherited use on a different unit. It’s kind of just a perfect middle ground between overstuffing your box and sending home all the units with good skills without using them.
I haven’t personally gone through and converted all my units yet, but someday soon I will. As soon as I have more time to do so.
Most of these additional updates don’t mean too much for me either, so I hope you’re fine just seeing the whole laundry list.
I’ve probably kept you all hostage in this post long enough, so I’m just going to wrap things here.
With this veritable marathon of a Fire Emblem Heroes update post finally complete, let me know what you think of everything in the comments!
How do you feel about the new Genealogy heroes?
Do you think the traitor storyline is as stupid as I do?
Are you down with the additions from Version 2.9.0?
God willing this is the last update we see in a while. Because doing this long post while running around doing everything else has been pretty exhausting.
That said, I hope you at least enjoyed it if you made it this far.
If foe initiates combat, grants Attack +6 during combat.
Reposition (Range = 1)
Target ally moves to opposite side of unit.
Close Defense (A Skill)
If foe initiates combat and uses a sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
Attack/Defense Link (B Skill)
If a movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Defense +6 to unit and target ally or unit and targeting ally for one turn.
Out of all the characters introduced on this banner, Sumia is probably my favorite as far as their actual original game personalities go. She was an interesting case in that she was clearly implied to be Chrom’s canonical love interest despite the game leaving his romance options open to player interests. I fell pretty hard for her pie-based shenanigans as well though, so I can understand where he’s coming from.
In Heroes she’s also built with an interesting set of skills. Essentially the developers have made her an enemy phase unit who can gain +6 Attack, Defense and Resistance when struck by any close-range weapon. Plus she comes with the best movement Assist skill built-in to be used with that Link, so there’s almost no downsides.
Assuming her stats are decent, anyway.
Honestly I don’t have much more to say. She’s probably my favorite of the four here and the one I’d want to summon. It’s just too bad I have a +9 Cordelia that will presumably continue to overshadow her.
At the start of every second turn, restores 10 Health.
Spur Attack/Resistance (C Skill)
Grants Attack and Resistance +3 to adjacent allies during combat.
If Sumia was an interesting case in Fire Emblem Awakening that stuck in my mind, Libra was the opposite. Unless you dig deep into a few specific support conversations (something I only found out about later), he’s essentially one-note. He looks like a girl and that causes a lot of confusion amongst various members.
So yeah, while he also has deep-rooted familial pain and all that jazz, I just never got too interested in the guy. By the time I hit his mission in my original play through, I already had Lissa as a solid War Cleric, and he was clearly outmatched by the other recruitable unit in that mission: Tharja.
Some competition, huh?
This version of Libra stands a little higher as far as my intrigue is concerned, but that’s almost purely for his weapon. Having a Wo Dao for axes is a cool idea. Especially when that axe is also a GUN.
I know it’s not really a gun. That’s called jokes, everyone.
Beyond that, he seems to be built to survive. Healing when he triggers that Special Attack and healing every other turn. Perhaps he’ll be a pretty bulky green infantry unit, which is something we don’t have as far as I’m aware.
Or perhaps he’ll just pull out a gun and win every battle.
After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts the following status on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions: “If unit has weapon-triangle advantage, boosts Attack by 20 percent. If unit has weapon-triangle disadvantage, reduces Attack by 20 percent.”
Martyr (Range = 1)
Restores Health = damage dealt to unit plus 50 percent of Attack (minimum of seven Health). Restores Health to unit = half damage dealt to unit.
Miracle (Cooldown = 5)
If unit’s Health > one and foe would reduce unit’s Health to zero, unit survives with one Health.
Dazzling Staff (B Skill)
Foe cannot counterattack
Staff Valor (C Skill)
While unit lives, all staff allies on team get 2x Skill Points after combat or after using healing Assist skills (only highest value applied, does not stack).
So… Maribelle is a little strange here.
In her original appearance she was a stuffy noblewoman who ran around the battlefield healing units and trying to get everyone to act more professional.
In this game she… Inflicts Triangle Adept on opponents, can’t be hit back when she strikes, heals herself when she restores Health and sometimes doesn’t die. Also she boosts the amount of Skill Points other healers get.
I’m sorry, what is Maribelle supposed to be exactly? Is she an attacking healer or a healing healer?
What kind of weird staff ability is inflicting Triangle Adept? If anything that’s super counterintuitive, as it gives the opponent an advantage more than it does offer your units an advantage in most situations.
I don’t know, man. Presumably she’ll be okay considering how good of a record cavalier healers have, but I’m just not sure I see the through-line.
If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 to target.
Dance (Range = 1)
Grants another action to target ally (cannot target another ally with Sing or Dance).
Bracing Stance (A Skill)
If foe initiates combat, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
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.
Guidance (C Skill)
Infantry and armored allies within two spaces can move to a space adjacent to unit.
Alright here we go. The controversial one.
I’ve made my issue with alternate units in main summoning banners more than apparent in the past. I’m still not a fan, and Olivia is unfortunately not enough of a beloved unit (to me at least) to justify interest.
She’s got a good weapon, much like Performing Arts Azura but with a sword instead of an axe. She also has a decent enough skill set, despite it being a bit more on the defensive than offensive side — something I’m not sure fits well with a flying unit.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just bitter about the whole thing, but I feel like there were a billion other units we could have introduced outside of a third dancing Olivia variant.
Why not Ricken? He was introduced alongside Maribelle in-game, so that would make sense. Or perhaps Miriel or Kellam as fellow original members of the Shepherds alongside Sumia?
Hell I’ll even take Vaike and screw Libra over in the summoning pool. That’s saying something, because nobody likes Vaike!
Maybe if I summon Olivia I’ll sing a different tune. But for now I’m kind of internally boycotting her. Hinoka was my one true alternate art love.
All things being equal, I think I’ve covered all of my thoughts in the analysis sections here.
Sumia is my favorite top summon for this banner, with everyone else kind of middling into obscurity for various reasons.
At least Walmart is coming and he looks pretty wicked.
Also my computer just autocorrected ‘Walhart’ to ‘Walmart’ and I’m sticking with it because that’s hilarious.
I’ve been saving my orbs for a little while following some lucky summoning on the Sketchy Summer banner (shout out to my perfect IV Summer Tiki), so I’m starting out with more than 100. Considering my lack of interest in the banner overall I might just summon a little on this banner and either save up for later or go back to try to get Camilla for the memes.
But that’s a discussion I’ll have with my wallet for later. Because that summoning addiction is something strong, so let’s see what fruits these trees have born.
It’s going to be this kind of banner then… I see.
Glad to know my luck has finally run out on me.
But hey I got three lance pegasus knights and Chrom so… Maybe that’s a good omen for Sumia?
Probably not, I’m not sure. Either way I won’t be spending too much time on this banner like I said. So we’ll see how that goes.
In the meantime, let’s see what that story is all about, shall we?
This chapter picks up directly where the last left off — something that I suppose should just be assumed, but I figure is worth mentioning anyway. As a segue if nothing else.
After being demolished by the incredible power of a self-reviving King Surtr (and taking a few vacations at the beach of course) the Order of Heroes is hoping to escape the fires of Múspell.
It comes to their attention that troops are pursuing from all sides except the east. Seems as though a second force is out in that direction also trying to escape.
So naturally the Order elects to follow along under the age-old adage that the enemy of their enemy must be their friend.
Unfortunately they don’t have the foresight of seeing the name of the chapter to know that Múspell’s forces are pursuing the Prince of Ice, Hríd.
After all, it wouldn’t be a complete story if there wasn’t a character everyone assumed was dead coming in to make a significant impact in the story.
He tells the Order that he was contacted by a masked man calling himself Zacharias, who provided him with the information needed to know just how to stop the Rite of Flame and kill Surtr once and for all.
Of course we the audience already knew there was a location where sacrifices are made considering that’s where we last heard Princess Veronica was being sent, but now our protagonists have a location and a heaping helping of hope.
Speaking of, can I just take a moment to reflect on the fact that somehow Múspell is still forming contracts with heroes of the week despite locking up the one character who can do that with the intent to kill her?
Because I’m not over that.
But it’s also a tangent for another day.
From this point the story seems to continue as expected. Sumia arrives first and offers a quippy character quirk to start her map.
Then… Intelligent Systems kind of throws a curveball and unexpectedly interjects more story into the second story map.
Laegjarn and Laevatein reveal that they apparently saved Helbindi’s life after his defeat by your hands when entering Múspell.
However, they also reveal that he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. If he goes back to Surtr and reveals he lost, he’ll be killed. As will his sister. So the flame sisters offer him the chance to join them and win his family’s safety by finally defeating the Order.
So that’s just what he does starting in the next map:
Which, by the way, proved to me how silly Maribelle’s staff was after she buffed my Tiki and made it easier for her to defeat Helbindi. Just saying.
As the Order continues on, they go to a path that’s supposedly little known by Surtr’s forces called Burnt-Bone Gorge.
With a name as metal as that I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t know about it, but that’s plot convenience for ya.
Especially since, as it turns out, they do actually know about the path and are waiting in ambush.
Defeat the final map and the Order is able to break through and escape once again, leading them to question exactly how they got stuck in this situation in the first place.
The discussion on there being a traitor with the generic back-and-forth of “there can’t be a traitor” and “there must be a traitor” goes on for a long time because none of the members of the Order are willing to believe their old friend is evil. Again.
So I could go on and show everything… But I won’t. Because it’s kind of ridiculous when you consider all the evidence.
All of the evidence being that Múspell having a gOD DAMN SHAPESHIFTER ON THEIR TEAM.
Yeah that’s right. Why is anyone on the Order questioning whether there’s a mole like this is some Cold War drama.
Obviously someone somewhere is just Loki fucking around with everyone. Everyone’s seen her do it before so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
The way I see it there are four possibilities.
The littlest Nifl princess is Loki, as fan theories have guessed for a while.
Zacharias is Loki, because he told them exactly where to go to get ambushed.
Mr. Big Bad Ice Prince is Loki, sent out to be a distraction.
Or hey, maybe all of them are Loki. Maybe every character is Loki, because that’s the kind of plot convenience you can abuse when you introDUCE A SHAPESHIFTER INTO YOUR GAME GUYS COME ON!
I don’t know why this point annoys me so much. If anything it’s arguably good writing to make people guess who’s actually the real faker.
I just wish they didn’t have that intrigue while also having the main heroes be ignorant morons about it, introducing an entire extra layer of bullshit that’s not needed.
But rant aside, that’s where the story cuts off. Come back next time to see the end of the Rite of Flame, presumably.
Have a good night.
Speaking of have a good night, that’s about all I’ve got to say in regards to this banner and its accompanying story!
As usual I suppose I should end off asking you, the audience, some questions I’ll never have answered.
What do you think of the mole controversy? What wrong arguments do you have against the idea of Loki being responsible for everything in some way, shape or form?
How about the Olivia controversy? Are you tired of repeat units showing up like this outside of seasonal banners? Because I am.
Despite that, who are you hoping to summon on this banner? And who do you want to see added in the future?
All of these questions and more: Ignored. On the next episode.
Of Dragonball Z.
*Cue outro music*
Alright so I know I cued outro music already, but I have to keep you here a little bit longer folks.
See, as I was putting finishing touches on this post, I also happened to complete the main story missions and earn all of the extra orbs.
Using those orbs I attempted to summon again, the first summon following that fivesome I posted earlier.
As it turns out, those pegasi and Chrom actually WERE a good omen, because my first attempt scored me this:
My girl Sumia is here already, apparently.
Which I guess means… I basically don’t have to summon anymore on this banner if I don’t want.
Which, by extension, means I get to save up some orbs. Shout out to the ever-growing stockpile.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
This post here is part two of my big two-part Fire Emblem Heroes update from the last week. I’m doing it all post-hoc since I’ve been heavily focused on the end of the school semester, but I didn’t want to leave things on the back burner forever.
I’ve had no qualms talking about the fact that I have zero history with many Fire Emblem games in the series’ long history. In a sense that creates a dichotomy with my Heroes posts between new heroes who I adore (See: Kinshi Hinoka) and new heroes who I have no connection with (See: The Thracia 776 heroes).
This post is going to be more of the latter. I don’t have much to say about these characters outside of whatever context I’ve gotten from heroes that joined the fray in the app before them.
However, despite my lack of in-game context, I do have a lot of positive things to say about their skills and my excitement to summon them. So let’s see what we’re working with!
Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count -1). If Special triggers before or during combat, grants Special cooldown count -2 after combat.
Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
At start of combat, if unit’s HP ≤ 80 percent, grants Atk/Def +7 during combat.
Inflicts Def/Res -5 on foe through its next action after combat.
Ares lives up to his name sake, the Greek god of war, quite well. His father’s Mystletainn was already a powerful weapon, but with the new upgrade it allows him to trigger Special attacks that have three-turn cooldowns (like Draconic Aura, for example) in a single blow. That’s kind of a scary amount of power for a unit with such high range as a cavalier, especially one that strikes hard when weakened against enemies he can weaken further. Definitely a powerful unit to grab.
If foe initiates combat, grants Defense +7 during combat.
Dance (Range = 1)
Grants another action to target ally.
If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack and Speed +3.
If unit survives, all sword allies on team get 2x SP.
In all honestly, Lene is probably the weakest of the three in this banner. Or, perhaps it’s not fair to call her “the weakest” considering dancers are in a league of their own, but she’s the least valuable to pull in my opinion. The defense boost from her weapon is great to have considering a dancer’s frailty, and the multi-faceted boost given by Firestorm Dance is nice… Though arguably Performing Arts Azura had a better boost inherent to her weapon.
Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit initiates combat, grants Speed +6 during combat.
Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
If unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and foe initiates combat, unit can counterattack before foe’s first attack.
Odd Attack Wave
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).
Ishtar is, unapologetically, my current video game girl crush. That’s right I said it. But no, it is not just because she has a fairly provocative set of poses drawn up. As the inspiration for Reinhardt and carrier of a tome named after Thor’s hammer, it’s clear the developers wanted to have her live up to those namesakes as much as they did with Ares. She hits hard and gives herself massive boosts to both attack and speed quite often, which makes her a force to really be reckoned with. Plus, she can hit an opponent before they can kill her if she has a little health gone, which may just be a nice saving grace here or there. Long story short: She’s the one that I want (hoo, hoo, hoo).
Alright so I’m trying a new layout for the character analysis here. Let me know what you think, because it’s a bit more labor intensive but I feel like it lays out on a page way nicer.
My more extensive standalone ‘analysis’ section for each character also lays out what I would usually fill this break with, so I can jump straight into my current summoning experiences.
They’re uhh… Not great so far.
In my first set of summons, I did pull a five-star red hero. Unfortunately…
It was Soleil.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love Soleil. One of my favorite characters from Fire Emblem Fates. In fact, when she first arrived in the game, I blew all of my orbs just to summon her!
But then she got downgraded to summonable at four-star rarity. Since then, I’ve summoned her quite a few times.
Maybe I’ll make her my next merging project once I’m done with Cordelia… And Nino… And Eirika…
Yeah I’m working on a few.
That said, I can’t say I’m particularly excited to have pulled Soleil when there are two red heroes on this banner that are both worth getting — one moreso, but still.
In terms of summoning on this banner as a whole, I am a huge fan of how strong these units look so I’ll continue to spend some orbs. As far as how many, I’m not too sure. At the very least I’m going to try to keep myself above 50 orbs minimum, as the new calendar that came out recently confirms that special heroes are coming out on May 10.
Will we see more brides coming into the game? Who knows. All I know is I’ll try to save some orbs until then.
That said, the story section always nets me some orbs, and the plot is getting exciting overall. Let’s see what they’ve got in store for us this time around:
“Hellfire” is a pretty apt name for the series of levels in which the Order of heroes finally leaves the frozen tundras of Nifl to walk into the volcanic landscapes of Surtr’s homeland, Múspell.
Even though for some reason we needed a few chapters as a transition where everyone walked to Nifl, but they just decided to whisk us to this new location through a portal.
But I digress, because I’m not here to discuss the clunky parts of the story.
When they arrive, Fjorm seems to still be feeling the aftereffects of the Rite of Frost (to a currently unknown end), but nobody has a lot of time to reflect on what’s going on.
Among the first strike party is a new significant character, Helbindi. He’s a general under Surtr who looks… Interesting, to say the least.
Yeah. Not sure I even have to say anything about that face of his.
After you defeat him at the entrance to the Kingdom of Flames, he retreats back to his fortress where you find out just a little more about his actually kindhearted nature.
Oh yes, that’s right. Helbindi isn’t the only new character unveiled in this chapter. We also have Ylgr, the youngest sibling in the Nifl royal family (alongside Fjorm, Gunnthrá and their currently unseen brother Hrid). She’s cute, she’s kind of sassy and she brings out the best in this new villain.
So all-and-all a pretty great character, for just being introduced.
Gotta love that dysfunctional sister/brother Stockholm relationship we’ve got going on.
From there, the Order makes their way through the typical mission set of fighting our new Genealogy heroes in various configurations. No real plot relevance, just minor original game references to give them characterization.
My only real thought process throughout the three filler battles actually went back to a character we don’t see: Veronica.
Yeah that’s right, the good old princess of the Embla Empire. Obviously she was the one who would have made the portal between Nifl and Múspell, as well as the one who would have gone to get the Genealogy heroes.
But at the end of the last chapter, we found out that Surtr was going to bring her back to his Kingdom to use her as a sacrifice for a ritual of sorts. If so, why would they still be giving her the chance to possibly escape their grasp by going around signing contracts with new characters?
I don’t know, perhaps that’s getting too into the weeds when thinking about what’s going behind the scenes, but I’d like to see them show what she does in the background once in a while.
That said, the lull of thought dies off quickly when the final battle starts with a cutscene featuring our favorite new Stockholm brother/sister pair.
Things actually get fairly deep as Ylgr digs up some past details about Helbindi’s real sister, and how she must be the reason why he can’t bring himself to hurt the young girl.
Like I said before, for a couple of characters who just got thrown into the game, I quite enjoy how much development and intrigue is being put into their interactions.
The second battle against Helbindi goes rather smoothly, with a little bit of playful banter between him and Fjorm leading into it.
If you consider sizing one another up ‘playful,’ that is.
Once you win the fight, the fate of Helbindi seems vague:
On the one hand, it’s typical for a Fire Emblem death prattle to sound like this. Calling out to a loved one, saying they need more time to live.
But with Helbindi being such a fresh, interesting character, is Intelligent Systems really going to kill him off right away? Or will he slip away to find his sister, for us to find later?
Who knows right now, I suppose. Time will tell and all that.
Now is not the time to mull it over, because the plot quickly moves into a different beat.
Remember that she said this, it’s actually going to be important in a second.
Introductions go around, and Fjorm begins to cough again, which offers Ylgr an opportunity to show some of her good nature. As well as hint at the fact that she may be some sort of cleric if added into the game.
When the plan to move forward comes out, Ylgr asks to come along, but does not seem to get a very positive reception.
Then everyone agrees to bring the sister along, and chapter 9 ends on a… Sort of quiet note.
However, it’s the underlying details that make this scene as interesting as it is.
See I cut a few panels out that show Ylgr being introduced to almost everyone in the main circle of the Order… Except the player character.
Yet the player character is called out specifically. That, in a sense, has become the basis of a fan theory that my friend Jonathan pointed out to me. It seems as though Ylgr might actually be the shapeshifting trickster Loki in disguise.
After all, she’s shown off the ability to hide as almost anybody quite often before, and it would explain not only the convenience of a little girl escaping the clutches of an evil empire but also the convenience of her knowing that name without being told it.
Yeah it is, Feh.
I quite like this theory, and I can easily imagine it actually being where this plot is going, so I wanted to bring it up here.
While I’ll be disappointed if things go in such a predictable direction, I am impressed that the fanbase is so cognizant of such minor details that they’re able to extrapolate on them so quickly.
But I suppose we won’t find out whether or not this is the case until the next few chapters hit. With a special set of characters coming soon, however, there’s no guarantee that’ll happen for some time now.
So stay patient, everyone. You know I’ll be here to talk about plot as it’s developing.
That’s all I’ve got today I’m afraid. With this post I have officially caught up with everything going on in the game.
Until May 20 when the special heroes drop. Because you know, no rest for the wicked and all that jazz.
In the meantime, let me know what you thought about this two-parter in the comments. I know it’s really no different from just doing two posts a few days apart when they were first happening, but I like to think there’s something special about putting them under the same umbrella.
While you’re at it, let me know what you think of the new set-up I’m trying for establishing details on the new heroes added in a summoning banner. I think I’ll keep it up for the next few banners just to see if it sticks at least, but I’d love some feedback all the same!
Hello everyone, welcome back to another episode of “Fire Emblem Heroes updated and I feel obligated to stay up into the ridiculous hours of the morning to have a timely post about it for some reason.” This is your host, Jason Rochlin.
In today’s special episode of that thing I just wrote out, you’re going to observe the ramblings of a madman, driven to insanity by his own gluttonous desire and lack of self-control in the face of an entity that, pardon my french, does not give a fuck.
All observers of this program should be 18 years old or older, or at least mature enough to understand the truly empty sadness of a somewhat successful college-age boy who thinks and talks far too much about a collection of lines one person drew that is perceived by everyone’s abstract brain as representing a twenty-something year-old redhead in a mobile app game for iOS and Android devices.
Viewer discretion is advised. Not really. But you’ve been warned.
Fire Emblem Fates is a game that hasn’t gotten any love in Heroes since the Children of Fates banner some time ago that brought in a number of characters. Included in that list of characters was Soleil, one of my favorite units from those titles.
At the time I spent all my orbs to get her, only for her to eventually become a four star unit that I now have 5 copies of.
How shall these new units I’m excited for screw me over, I wonder?
Kana wins the award for the cutest artwork in this update hands down. However, skill-wise she’s… Okay. I already have two powerful green dragons in the forms of Myrrh and Grima so perhaps I’m somewhat disillusioned, but having another green dragon with a breath that calculates damage using the lower defensive stat without actually having a built-in way to hit from a distance is disappointing. It’s hard to argue with Draconic Aura and Fierce Stance however, so luckily her cute butt is on my radar this time around. Just don’t call the police on me for saying it like that.
Okay… So… Shigure is here for his second time since the Performing Arts banner. He’s a lot more underwhelming this go around, sporting a weapon that powers up his special attack to ensure he restores a little more health… But beyond that doesn’t have too much going for him in my opinion. Perhaps if Mitama comes out soon and I can ship them together he’ll have a bit more utility, but until then he’s far outclassed by the other flying unit in this banner.
I need a little more free space to discuss this one because I’ve quite literally been mulling over this Hinoka alt since she was announced Sunday night.
Who… Who exactly over at Intelligent Systems allowed this?
Let me break it down. Hinoka is a flying unit based on the Kinshi Knight model from Fire Emblem Fates. Already a good start because the Kinshi Knights were one of my favorite things about that set of games.
She’s a bow-wielding flying unit (which is unique up until now if I’m not mistaken) with a bow that actually, literally has four effects.
Effective against flying units, as all bows are.
Effective against armored units, which is unprecedented for bows and quite welcomed in the world of Black Knights and Hectors.
Grants +3 Speed, which I’m assuming is on top of an already solid speed stat.
Drive Attack. Just… Straight up built-in Drive Attack skill on a bow with three other skills already built-in.
Like how is that legal in the state of California?
Hinoka also comes out of the box with four other main slot skills attached. On top of having all of that utility in her special 14 might bow: She also has Luna as a special attack that reduces defense or resistance by 50 percent when triggered, Attack/Speed Bond to grant her +5 in both stats when next to an ally, as well as both Flier Formation and Flier Guidance to allow her to jump next to units two spaces away or vice versa.
Those last two skills basically guarantee she’ll have the bonded boost and will likely activate her Drive Attack bow for allies.
There’s so much synergy in this one unit that I just cannot understand how we’ve allowed this to happen. If she has fantastic base stats as well, Hinoka is going to be an absolute monster.
Oh and let’s not forget… She’s Hinoka. And the Hoshido sisters are leagues better than the Nohrian sisters.
Don’t @ me, Internet.
Okay but with all this gushing over Hinoka, I suppose I should also lay out my issues with her inclusion here.
For one, I would be remiss not to talk about my problem with Hinoka appearing as a “brand new” unit in a main story banner like I did when cavalier Eirika was introduced a while back. That slot could have very easily gone to someone else from Fates.
Reina seems to be a name that’s going around a lot as a Kinshi Knight, for example. Or maybe one of the other Hoshido children like Midori.
On top of that, my flier emblem team is already pretty stacked so I’m really not sure who to replace.
But those are small complaints all things being equal. I’ll still be spending all of my 140-ish orbs on this banner if I have to.
Just watch me get destroyed.
What’s that? I already did get destroyed?
Oh. I see.
Well I suppose it’s time to store up orbs again so I can keep bashing my head against this brick wall. Thank god the Tempest Trials are still going so I can squeeze some more orbs out of those.
Also side note, I’m glad to see Nanna got demoted to four-star status so quickly after her token banner considering she’s the only one of those heroes I got.
But I digress. I’m sure you’re all tired of me complaining and want to get into the story. So let’s do that.
I will say, just to start off this portion of the episode, that I appreciate how frequently Intelligent Systems has been moving the main story forward. I’m a sucker for a developing story, after all.
Thematically I think the developers killed it when putting together this portion of the story for a number of reasons. For one, the ice castle aesthetic is pretty great on its own. On top of that, it looks like the kind of environment I would expect to see coming out of the Fire Emblem Fates world, so everything feels copacetic.
But on top of both of those things, let’s also not forget that the music coming out of Fates is just mm-mmm good. Seriously I’ve had the map’s main theme stuck in my head since the banner trailer was first released.
Now if only I could remember the name of the track…
I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let’s talk about story.
We start this leg of the race suddenly much further ahead than we left off before. Essentially, we’ve completely skipped over any and all exposition between Gunnthrá’s death in the Thracia missions and the arrival at this castle for the Rite of Frost.
But wait, we aren’t getting out of this without a cinematic cutaway to a Kevin Smith-style conversation between characters who could otherwise be doing super action-y stuff based on what they’re saying.
Surtr continues to be as brutal as ever, which for some reason still surprises me. Also fire ritual foreshadowing that I bet won’t become relevant for the next twenty chapters or so.
HEY WAIT A SECOND, THERE’S A PERFECT DISTRACTION RIGHT HERE!
XANDER IS STILL HERE GUYS!
Yeah I know that’s like a small detail, but I seriously always forget that Xander is for some reason still the top general in Veronica’s army. It’s such an obscure fact, but the more it becomes relevant the more I’m starting to think maybe Veronica is Xander’s perfect match instead of Hinoka.
… Except there’s probably some pedophilic implications in that statement all things being equal.
Also I just reminded myself that Hinoka is a thing in this banner and she’s alluding my wanton desire, so I’m just going to move on.
Battles happen as usual until the Order of Heroes makes it to the part of the castle where they can begin the ritual.
Figures we can’t go a single Fire Emblem game without a legendary dragon getting involved.
So you fight all of the Fates enemies (including the awfully handsome Kaze, because I mean…)
Yeah that’s right, welcome back Feh plot thickening meme. How I’ve missed you.
What’s that? Should I actually say something about the moment? Well… Fjorm is probably going to die. Join her sister in the afterlife or whatever. Unless of course this is all just a ploy to make her sick at the last-minute so we need a Deus Ex Machina to save the day and defeat Surtr once and for all.
I guess only time will tell.
Speaking of Surtr, as he so eloquently established by threatening to break someone’s legs, the next step of the journey for our rag-tag bunch of orb-hording freaks is the fire kingdom itself so they can take on the hulking brute.
Will the Order succeed in taking on Surtr? Will hilarious or emotional hijinks ensue? Who will be the units that preside over the final fight with the King of Fire?
Find out on the next episode of-
Oh wait, there’s more. What is this a Marvel movie post-credit scene?
Gasp! Time for a Feh meme x2 combo.
Okay so real talk, as much as I appreciate the double-cross twist of the big bad guys actually just wanting to use the little bad guy as a sacrifice for bad things, I do think this development was a bit rushed.
When I made the cut-away joke about Xander suddenly appearing again, I really was serious when I meant there was an interesting amount of foreshadowing happening. But no, that foreshadowing was just alluding to a portion of the story coming up at the end of the same mission.
Hopefully there’s a little more filler between this point and fighting the final battle, because otherwise rushed may unfortunately be the only way to describe the ending to this really cool long-term plot experiment.
Alright, with all that said, we’ve once again reached the end of another exhaustive night (morning?) of writing about dumb mobile game shenanigans.
How do you feel about the new heroes that have been brought into the game? Or, more specifically, how much do you agree with me about Hinoka being broken as hell?
Let me know in the comments down be-
THAT’S IT, THAT’S THE SONG THAT PLAYS UNDER THESE NEW MAPS!
Shout out to my boy Jonathan for helping me find the tune, because I was honestly going to go crazy if I couldn’t remember the name sometime soon to listen to it on repeat for the next couple of weeks.
Hope you all enjoy the kick-ass track. Because I’m going to sleep now so I can take on another day of visiting the tailor and going to work.
Well allow me to completely destroy all credibility in that regard by immediately jumping into another post all about Fire Emblem Heroes. Everyone’s favorite, I’m sure.
What can I say, it’s hard for me to stay away when this game updates itself and gives us some new people to play around with, especially now that I’ve personally gotten more into creating powerful units to fool around with. That or it’s just hard for me to get away from this writing crutch that I’ve rested on one too many times as an excuse to write more fun things that I’m interested in.
Either or works as an explanation honestly.
But that said, let’s quit all the meta talk and move into some Fire Emblem talk.
Mm-mmm, That’s the kind of meme quality I’m after.
Though with that said, I think the elephant in this particular room should be addressed before I get too deep into things.
No, I will not apologize for using such a perfect pun in my post title.
Don’t bother asking.
But in all seriousness, my actual gripe comes from the fact that half of this new hero summoning banner is literally a re-tread of the only heroes from this game that we actually already have from that early update.
Like what’s the deal Intelligent Systems? I know that Reinhardt is a popular meme — as I’ve so graciously pointed out before — but are there really no more than three new heroes we can include from this generally unacknowledged title before resigning ourselves to new versions of ones that are already here?
They aren’t even special holiday variants guys. Seriously guys, come on.
But I digress. Even if they are partially re-releases, these heroes must have something to offer in their own rights, right?
Where to begin with these new heroes… I don’t have that much of a connection to any of them, so I suppose I’ll have to stick with their possible competitive viability. Lief arguably has the best chance to fit in somewhere in my opinion. His weapon has a cool effect that boosts his own defense and subsequently boosts his attack based on his defense. Add that to the Spd and Def boost and he’s got a nice core if you disregard the just ‘ok’ special attack. Plus I’ve been getting more into Drive skills lately so I dig that. However… He comes with an energy drink. For some reason. If it’s a reference I don’t get it, but what I do know is that drink is literally useless outside of Chain Challenges and Tempest Trial runs. So clearly this boy isn’t meant to be used in too many other places.
Nanna is painfully forgettable. There aren’t too many cavalier healers in the game so she has a slight boost in intrigue there, but it clearly falls off a cliff from there. Her staff absorbs health, which is really only useful if you buff the staff to equal the damage of regular weapons. Restore is interesting but highly situational if the opponent doesn’t have stat negating abilities. Healing everyone with the special attack is also situational. A +2 buff to two stats isn’t anything to write home about. It’s just a mess. Granted, not pictured is a Drive Def skill, but even then it’s mostly good for passing off onto others. 0/10, would not want to summon.
Here we go, into the strange clones. It’s like when Eirika showed up in the last Sacred Stones banner as a totally new unit all over again. Except this time she isn’t even radically different since our previous Olwen was also a mage cavalier. Blue last time to be fair, but in this iteration she simply gains a slightly bugged version of the Gronnblade tome. I already have a +10 merged Gronnblade Cecilia, game. I don’t need a new one. Even if she does come with Swift Sparrow, which is a decent ability to pass along. Next…
Despite being another clone, this Reinhardt offers something interesting for himself at the very least. Rather than being a buffed up brave blue tome using cavalier, now he’s a buffed up brave sword using cavalier. Because that makes sense in the lore I suppose? I like his weapon a lot, since it’s along the lines of Elincia’s Amiti sword but works offensively and defensively. Plus adding onto that with Death Blow and Vantage is fantastic. Just switch out Pavise for something, get a new C skill other than the Spur x2 and he’d be pretty useful. It’s just a shame that weapon of his can’t be passed on… Especially because of it’s fantastic name. Meisterschwert. That’s on par with Mystletainn honestly.
Oh yeah by the way, there’s also a lance cavalier named Finn lingering around in the story mode who seems like the great knight early game protector-archetype character. But he’s a Tempest Trial reward character for the future, so we don’t need to worry about him yet.
All-and-all I’m not super excited about any of these guys. Leif and Reinhardt take two are probably the best looking units in the bunch, but I won’t be clawing at the seams trying to summon them desperately with the last of my orb reserves.
I’m back up to 70 at this point following my female Grima debacle, so I’d like to keep storing up for a rainy day at this point.
It doesn’t help that Mia from the Radiant games decided to show up unannounced as a red five-star unit instead of the two aforementioned characters I wanted.
Even though there’s currently a banner running that features her as a focus unit.
But that’s a gripe for another day. Because new character update also means new story missions! So let’s jump into that.
So one thing I have to give props to for the team that designs Fire Emblem Heroes is the map design. Even though we’ve mostly moved away from maps that reference the original titles directly (outside of Paralogues of course), Nifl is still an interesting winter wonderland to see develop over time.
Plus the transition into the last map where most of the snow is melted away thanks to the flames of the enemy is particularly beautiful.
Unfortunately, losing out on referential maps also coincides with losing out on a lot of the referential character-driven dialogue. As much as I enjoy the overall story arc being woven, it would be nice to see the characters being added into the fray getting a little more time to shine.
But hey I haven’t even gotten into the overarching story, so why don’t we discuss that first.
Once again this chapter begins with a dream sequence.
That’s right, Gunnthrá is back again and ready to drop some exposition all up on us.
You just know that if a fairly plot important character shows up with secret knowledge about how to win a war and the intent to meet with your party soon following a multi-chapter build-up, everything is going to work out.
But hey, dream sequences are so overrated. We’ve gotta get back to where the actual real plot left off.
Feel caught up? Good, because that’s about all they give us to jump back into things. I suppose it does the job, and gives us more time to get into who these strange Thracia people are.
Except just kidding. They all get one or two lines and that’s it. Most of the missions have no plot, hurray!
Though to be fair, in this case I’m led to believe it’s 100 percent intentionally cast aside just to show how in-tuned they are with the Reinhardt memes.
Clearly magic isn’t everything.
Also for real support these Fire Emblem meme generators, they’re awesome.
But back on track, after dealing with a couple of mindless battles the Order of Heroes finally arrives at the temple they’re supposed to meet Gunnthrá in. Except- Oh no! Plot development!
Darn right it is, owl.
The story actually gets surprisingly dark and serious at this point kind of out of nowhere.
Yeah it looks like Surtr straight up set a trap by capturing Gunnthrá and tortured her (not that her in-game art changed to reflect that) trying to find out what the Order of Heroes is planning to do in order to stop him.
Except obviously nobody tells him what we’re planning, so he does the next best thing.
She’s dead, yo.
Yeah in a dark twist, someone actually dies in this mobile Fire Emblem game. A pseudo-main character no less.
I was totally caught off guard by this development honestly, how could they have done something of this caliber without totally telegraphing their plot thread ahead of-
Oh wait they totally did.
Yeah, the whole death scene as a whole was hinted at a bit too strongly for my tastes. Kind of too obvious to really be a good twist.
Though to be fair, the fact that they killed a main character is still rather impressive. Especially considering they let us summon her… Months ago. In a Legendary Hero banner. Because she’s a Legendary Hero.
Who is now suddenly dead in the canonical story without having done anything.
But we can still use her if we summoned her…
So how much bearing does the canonical story bear on the in-game mechanics then? Because I’ve always been under the impression that they’re fairly tightly linked due to the fact that heroes in Paralogue missions always mention they can join you in your main army.
Though more than just raising a strange existential in-game question, the fact that Gunnthrá was summonable months ago also brings up the question of why Fjorm needed to have a moment of emotional turmoil?
Like I get it your sister died, but did she really? I could go S-rank your relationship right now if I wanted. And if that wouldn’t be a total waste of stat buffs.
Also, evil laugh is evil. Just saying.
Except wait, plot twist take two. As suddenly as before, turns out she’s not really dead?
Darn right again, owl friend.
Except just kidding again, she totally is dead. We just needed hers back for two seconds to Deus Ex Machina a solution for killing the ultimate invincible bad guy.
Just like she also telegraphed in her dream sequence.
So you go to follow the light because the invincible evil general who planned the ultimate evil ruse in this chapter and killed a main character… Kind of just lets you escape.
All is good in the world and now your party has a new mission to complete this ancient ritual and gain the power to defeat Surtr and get revenge. Even though your mission was already about revenge because Nifl was being destroyed as is.
So same mission, different route to get there?
Or is it?!
Dun dun duuuuuuunnnn!
But for real, that’s about it for the plot.
I know I made fun of it a lot in this post, but let’s be honest it is a bit too obvious and contrived as a way to move the story along this time around. It’s serviceable, but just a bit disappointing for my tastes.
Also I’m expecting a revival Jesus-style in the near future. But if they keep Gunnthrá dead, I suppose I’ll be impressed by the balls it took to kill off someone integral in this kind of silly mobile game.
Despite the fact that I already ripped that decision apart for being a little nonsensical from a gameplay perspective.
Fire Emblem Heroes also had a new big update just the other day. Version 2.4.0 baby!
I feel kind of bad about skipping over it before thanks to my class/work schedule, so I wanted to just run down exactly what was added into the game in my continued effort to keep a running log of the Heroes evolution over time.
But I’m already at 2,100 words, so I’m going to summarize it all with screenshots.
Totally not because I’m just lazy.
There are a few cool things that were added into the game this time around.
More Grand Hero Battles being available on a regular basis is pretty dope, especially for someone like Berkut who sucks but I love as a character.
I don’t use any of the heroes that are getting weapon upgrades in this cycle, though I have a Roy who might get some use now that he has a better Binding Blade. Plus it’s cool that OG Ephraim and Hector can use the weapons their variants own.
I’ll probably delve more into Tempest Trial changes when the next Tempest Trial run arrives, since I haven’t done a post on the special game mode in a while.
Aesthetic changes like a scrolling banner are neat, though somewhat negligible.
SPECIAL ORB PROMO MORE LIKE SPECIAL GIVE US YOUR MONEY!
Let’s see how many times these deals force me to spend money on the game for good deals…
New game mode: Grand Conquests?
Whoa, mysterious new game mode time. I’m going to love talking about tha-
Oh. It’s just a tease at this point. So I literally don’t have a lot to say yet.
Alright, guess that will be a post for another day.
With that, we come to the end of the line once again.
Obviously there was a lot to tackle here between the new characters and the overall Version 2.4.0 update. I didn’t even get into the recent Feh Channel that I still haven’t watched… But considering what they talked about there is likely coming out with all of these updates, I’ll just let it slide.
However, speaking personally, I think there’s one major takeaway from everything that happened here today:
I’m going to abuse the hell out of this. Get ready, world.
How do you all feel about the new Thracia heroes? Or the fact that half of them are just rehashed versions of heroes we already have?
Let me know in the comments down below!
Though if you’re more interested in other Heroes topics… Well… Just wait a few days. Seems like there’s some stuff coming down the pipeline.
About a week ago, we got a new calendar showcasing the many events that were coming down the pipeline in Fire Emblem Heroes for the first few months of the year.
By many events, I do mean many events.
Wow. Talk about a busy lineup, right?
Through the sizable web of things happening I, alongside many other fans of the Fire Emblem series, noticed something interesting. The chief antagonist of my favorite Fire Emblem game, the Sacred Stones, was coming up as a Grand Hero Battle. Then, when he cleared off, Valder would be returning.
Two Sacred Stones units in a row? Well that’s odd. Could it possibly be a coincidence given that a new summoning focus was set to begin just before they arrived?
As it turns out, it was not a coincidence. This new banner is indeed Sacred Stones-themed like everyone was hoping.
Let me tell you, I was excited about the sheer possibility of a banner from this game as soon as the calendar was hot on the presses. Every time something with Sacred Stones comes up, my heart starts firing at all cylinders.
Was my excitement met with an ample return from Intelligent Systems?
Am I ready as ever to immerse myself in the world of the Sacred Stones?
Would I be asking this many rhetorical questions if I didn’t have a subverting comment waiting in the wings?
Read on to find out.
To make a long cliffhanger short, I am indeed pretty excited about these units! Like I said already, it’s hard for me not to be excited when this game comes out of the woodwork.
However, there is one blemish on this otherwise beautiful sight that leaves me somewhat embittered about the whole thing.
But I’ll get to that. For now, let’s start examining what our new summon-able friends bring to the table.
Peaking a little early here, Intelligent Systems? On top of being an obvious fan favorite character, Myrrh also has arguably the most interesting and powerful build in this new bunch. She’s a rarity, being not only our second green dragon unit in the game, but also a green dragon unit with a flying movement-type distinction. You can probably build some crazy interesting half-dragon/half-flying team combinations with her on your side. It helps that she looks as powerful as she does unique, boasting a skill to Hone other manakete units, the attack-heavy Fury and Bonfire special attack and a special breath weapon that makes her hit a weaker defensive stat against ranged units. A pretty sweet spread all-and-all.
Yet another fan favorite character who seems to be bringing her wonderful holier-than-thou divine justice, but a strange name pronunciation. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever thought to say “Lara shell,” but to be fair the game developers also had a different pronunciation for Innes so I guess that trait runs strong in Sacred Stones. L’Arachel also has a bit of a strange skill spread compared to the undoubtedly powerful Myrrh. Rather than being a staff-wielding troubadour, as most likely remember her, she’s much more akin to her valkyrie advancement in that she uses the sacred light weapon Ivaldi (now a blue tome). Though it doesn’t have great base power, she gains bonuses in attack and speed when fighting a full health unit. An interesting add-on admittedly. However, from there she carries the sub-par special attack Glowing Light and bulk-centric Renewal (which may or may not be important depending on her stat spread), as well as the brand new Resistance Tactic that grants a big boost to infantry and armored units. There’s possibly some synergy here, we’ll have to see.
Anamnesis: Noun. The recollection or remembrance of the past. I’ll admit, this is a very clever title for Eirika given her overwhelming insistence on remembering all the good times between her, Ephraim and Lyon. If I had to guess before jumping into the story missions, this theme will play into them appearing together and I appreciate that. Unfortunately, it also brings me to remember the fact that we already got Eirika as a unit. A long, long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool when we get new versions of old units through Brave Heroes and holiday-themed events, and I’ve been an advocate for Eirika on horseback like her final form in the original game for some time… But when a second version of a unit shows up like this in a main summoning focus, it just feels like a slot was taken that could have been filled by another. Especially since her skill spread seems like the most underwhelming of the three heroes here despite her boasting five skills. Plus, what’s with her having the dark tome Gleipnir? She can never learn how to use magic in the Sacred Stones, it just seems… Nonsensical. Unless there’s a story reason that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I guess we’ll see.
I don’t really know what it is about Eirika that bugs me so much. Her appearance here is what makes me feel rather bitter about this whole banner despite the fact that it’s based on my favorite game in the series and has two wonderful units in it. Seriously, Myrrh and L’Arachel are great and I’m going to be trying to get both, but why did we get a weird reprint of Eirika now?
It really feels like it would have made more sense to release a horseback Eirika as a Brave hero down the line, for me at least.
Plus that would have saved room for someone like Neimi.
I mean seriously Intelligent Systems, how much more do I have to beg? I appreciate Myrrh and L’Arachel, and I know both Lyon and Marisa are coming soon too from other events… But I just want my favorite character in the game already.
I’ll keep voting in the new Choose Your Legends event until I get her.
If nothing else, I suppose it’s a positive that she’s not in the game because I don’t feel as bad voting for her? But not really, because I would have voted for her anyway.
I will seriously throw my Brave Lyn away in a heartbeat if we got a horseback archer Neimi at some point.
That’s about enough empty, ridiculous bitching about a gotcha game for one day, though. Thanks to the Radiant Dawn banner screwing me over and scaring me away at the same time as a Tempest Trial, I’m starting off this Sacred Stones banner with 94 orbs, so I’m feeling lucky about nabbing that Myrrh.
Wait, what was that? I wrote this whole section before the update even happened you say?
Well… You’re not wrong.
Luckily, now present day Jason can report some good news on the tail end of this somewhat negative build-up:
I GOT DAT MYRRH BABY, YEAH!!! WOO!!
Also she’s apparently sassy as FUCKhere. It’s absolutely incredible, and I’m very happy and lucky considering this happened so easily.
It only took 30 orbs to nab her too! So I still have about 60 orbs – without having done all of the new missions and all – to spend either on future special banners or to come back and try my hands at L’Arachel.
It’s a bit of a tough choice since I love Sacred Stones, but also I love having special holiday variant heroes.
Just don’t read too much into that in comparison to my vague disdain toward a new version of Eirika appearing.
On that note, the question remains regarding whether or not my predictions about a reminiscent Eirika/Lyon interactions were valid, which strikes me as a perfect segue into story.
While I am a bit surprised to see two main story chapters show up in such a short period of time, I can’t say I’m opposed to it. Especially considering this chapter goes into a really deep amount of interesting character development.
Before they head off, however, we get to see a much deeper look into Alfonse’s daddy issues.
It actually gets a bit heavy, even if things aren’t very thoroughly explained in my opinion.
Alfonse talks about how his father is leading an army to protect the land of Askr, yet he doesn’t agree with Alfonse being a part of the Order of Heroes… Which for all intents and purposes is essentially an army protecting the land of Askr.
Sure, the Order led by a greedy general, and I guess they’re fairly ‘hands on’ as he says, but otherwise I don’t necessarily see the distinction off-hand.
Plus, the game leaves off other potentially relevant details, like why Alfonse seems to be ostracized but Sharena, his sister, isn’t. Maybe that’s just her hiding it away because she’s got a happy-go-lucky kind of defense mechanism, but if that’s true we don’t get too much of an indication to that effect either.
Am I thinking too much into this? Maybe. But I’ve got no qualms talking about my love of the lore in this game. Seeing character development is always great, and Alfonse gets some powerful stuff here.
Of course right after that ends they’re interrupted by Sharena bringing him colored hay he asked for… Which I didn’t exactly know was a thing?
Once you get through the first hefty story dump with a strange conclusion, the next couple of missions go relatively quietly.
Most of the summoning focus characters do get brief introductions, but that’s about all.
For some reason, Myrrh doesn’t get any sort of introduction. Why do you guys have to short my gal, Intelligent Systems? It’s not like she’s the Great Dragon of legend or anything.
Also I guess that does bring up another point I’d like to address. It feels like the Sacred Stones heroes got a bit shafted here.
In the context of the universe, the only reason game-specific heroes are still appearing is because Princess Veronica has teamed up with Surtr and is providing contracted mercenaries, essentially. From that angle, I understand why they don’t necessarily have a huge amount of time given in the main storyline compared to more independent, specifically focused Paralogues… But still.
The music playing under everything is from the Sacred Stones, but the maps aren’t. Which is unfortunate because seeing the miniature representations of original game maps is still one of my favorite things about playing Fire Emblem Heroes.
It’s a shame, though I can let it slide considering main story progression is put on the forefront here.
That progression has the Order of Heroes eventually making it to the gateway into Fjorm’s homeland, which is sealed by a massive magical MacGuffin.
Arriving at that gateway has the story kick up to 11 once again. After all, it takes time for Fjorm to open up the gate, and you know what holding a position for a long time entails:
Surtr arrives to ambush the Order, which does lead to one of my favorite aesthetic effects in the history of Fire Emblem Heroes thus far.
Chapter 4-4: The Young Dragon
Chapter 4-5: Fiery Resolve
What a cool duality between invading and defending. I love that sort of thing, revisiting an old area with a new coat of paint. It’s just rad game design!
But you know what else is rad?
How cool of a villain Surtr is.
I won’t even qualify it that much, just look at how savage and unequivocally insane the guy is.
It’s just amazing seeing such a gruesome person in a mobile game spin-off of a somewhat kid friendly Nintendo franchise. I’ve come to really love a lot of the characters from the Fire nation, and this kind of unchecked intensity is one of the reasons why.
Though I do think it’s hilarious that you get a long, intense monologue from Surtr, only for him to send his two lackies in first and arrive after turn 3.
Especially since he’s invincible. So he’s just giving you the opportunity to end the fight before he can help.
Good guy Surtr?
Okay definitely not. But when you beat this mission, the story goes wildly off the rails once again.
After Fjorm opens the gateway to allow your heroes to escape, they have to come to terms with making the decision to run and fight another day even if that means Surtr destroys a nearby village.
Alfonse leads the charge to run away, which feels uncharacteristic after a whole mission set surrounding his citizen-first mentality.
Once they escape, however, the story cuts back to focus more on Surtr’s forces.
Then, in the surprise of the century, Xander reveals that he’s still relevant to the main plot.
Yeah, remember when Xander was important as the General of Veronica’s army? Well apparently he hasn’t disappeared.
Honestly it’s getting to a point where I wouldn’t argue with people shipping Veronica and Xander together. Clearly he’s sticking with her for the long run, after all.
Plus there are people who are into older men like that. I don’t judge.
Anyway… That aside, Veronica and Surtr start arguing over whether he should destroy the town, since Veronica is keen on having them be part of the Emblian empire once Askr is destroyed.
Before they can fight, Loki stops the group by letting them know the town is empty.
Colored hay ex machina? Or nice use of chekhov’s gun? I’ll let you decide.
After Surtr metaphorically cools his jets and agrees to keep Veronica around longer, he splits his forces up, setting things in motion for the next big mission.
What a long, frankly fascinating journey just this one mission series is. The character development is interesting, the writing is clever and everything moves at a good pace.
Even if the Sacred Stones heroes feel a little left behind, I can’t argue with what we got.
Oh, and no Lyon yet in case you hadn’t noticed. I know he’s coming tomorrow, but it does seem like a waste not to have him appear with Eirika here in this set somewhere.
Especially since they alluded to it all over the place!
As I’m sure you can tell, this banner has been a bit divisive for me.
On the one hand, it’s Sacred Stones-themed, so I’m predisposed to like it. Especially since Myrrh and L’Arachel are in it. Plus, the story they have going that includes these heroes is easily the best we’ve seen out of this game yet in my opinion.
I even got Myrrh with very minimal sacrifices. That’s awesome!
But at the same time, Eirika reappearing still bugs me wildly. Especially considering they really don’t do anything with her! I’m more than willing to admit that there’s probably just some personal bias here.
I love Eirika and the fact that they included a horseback version of her, but it was so wildly disappointing seeing her taking up a slot in this summoning focus, and that just really hit me hard. I’m willing to bet it’s in part because I’ve had a rough first week of school this semester and am taking even slight blemishes in overall great developments as over-embellished issues.
That said, as much as I want to complain about it, everything outside of Eirika here really lines up perfectly and would probably be my favorite update in some time otherwise.
So I’m going to stop looking at the negatives and take everything for what it really is: Some damn well done story and gameplay.
With a little bit of luck in summoning to boot.
I guess with all that said, all I really have to add is… Here’s looking forward to Lyon being good, hopefully.
How do you feel about this new summoning focus, or the story it accompanies?
If you could have any other hero from Sacred Stones beside Eirika a second time, who would you want to see?
Let me know in the comments below, and until next time. I’m off to get some rest so I can cover an Academic Senate meeting in the morning.
Welcome to your multi-faceted Fire Emblem Heroes post for the week.
Yesterday, Heroes got a semi-large scale update that implemented some new features. Today, brand new heroes from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn were added into the game.
So let’s not mess around friends, there’s plenty to cover and a limited amount of moonlight to write about it, but I’m just as excited to get into it all the same.
This little list in the notifications page kind of covers everything succinctly, but in trademarked Jason Rochlin fashion I’m going to jump into each point individually, likely over-embellishing their descriptions as I discuss my thoughts.
Hero Merit limit increase
For those of you who don’t know about Hero Merit, one of the many underlying systems in Fire Emblem Heroes that runs as you use your units to battle others is the accumulation of Hero Merit. This Merit doesn’t necessarily affect the heroes themselves in any way, but it’s highly beneficial for players to work toward maxing it out all the same.
When a specific unit reaches an interval of 500 Hero Merit, the player can receive 500 Hero Feathers. With the new increased capacity, players can earn 4,000 Hero Feathers with each character.
I’ve become more of a fan of Hero Feathers as of late, as they are what allow you to unlock an individual unit’s potential. In other words it allows you to grow a unit from a three star rarity to a four star rarity or a four star rarity to a five star rarity.
Now that I know the value of merging multiple five star units together to increase their power, I have a much more positive outlook on these collectibles – and a much higher need of them considering it takes 20,000 Hero Feathers to buff one unit to a five star.
Pre-battle map checking
This kind of system was implemented in other game modes, especially those where you have to fight multiple maps in a row like Squad Assault, but now you can use it any time for just about any map you can access.
As far as what it does… Well, it should be fairly self-explanatory when I say “pre-battle map checking.” Want to see what your units will be up against in the next fight? Check the map ahead of time, take a look at the opponent units and what skills they have to come in better prepared.
That’s really about that. It’s a simply but highly useful change.
More Sacred Seals & Weapon Refining
To be completely honest I can’t do this particular change any more justice than the screenshot above does.
Two new legendary weapons can be refined, though the only one that really matters to me is Sanaki’s special red tome, as she’s a five star unit I have and use fairly often.
Personally I hope this change is an indication that more upgrades will be coming in the near future, since there are plenty of other units that have legendary weapons that I would love to buff.
Cough cough Eirika cough
The Sacred Seals that were added to the construction option also aren’t very important to me personally. They’re all Seals that were available in the past as part of Tempest Trials rewards, so I already had all of them leading up to this addition.
Thus, I can’t actually build any of them. I already have them.
Oh well, at least other newer players now have access to some cool additional skills.
New terrain type: Trenches
While the screenshot above once again covers all of the information I currently have about this new terrain type, I’m quite interested in seeing how trenches affect the game going forward.
From the description alone, it just seems like trenches are being added as a check to cavalry units. Instead of their usual three space movement range, heroes on horseback can only go one space when moving across trenches. It’s a small debuff if the maps where they’re featured don’t have an excessive amount, but it is interesting to note that Intelligent Systems is trying to hit one of the most prevalent unit types in competitive play.
Of course we don’t know whether the trenches have extra utility because they aren’t featured in any of the new story maps… But that’s a different story. For now it just seems like these things might be more of an aesthetic implementation than a practical one.
Beyond those major points, the other changes are small or tie into bug fixes specifically. The only one I can recall having an impact on me is the way they’ve made it so units without weapons aren’t added to the pool of potential allies when playing in a Voting Gauntlet.
That’s cool, but also I never ran into the problem personally so I guess I never well.
With all that said, let’s move into the next leg of this marathon. Everyone’s favorite: A new summoning focus banner.
Three heroes from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn have arrived in Heroes, and their appearance also continues on the legacy of Radiant game focuses apparently being Intelligent System’s choice to advance the game’s overarching plot.
But of course, we can’t get into silly things like plot without discussing the merits of our new potential allies.
Micaiah is interesting in that she is apparently a fan favorite unit who also happens to look quite overpowered. As an added note, she actually has five skills but I could only get four to line up for a picture so know that she also has Drive Attack as her C skill. This girl’s weapon is kind of crazy and all over the place, being a blue tome that’s good against horses and armored units while also combining the effects of three other really good weapons from the past. Her resistance to damage on account of that weapon is accentuated by her Distant Defense and Guard, yet she can also buff allies with Drive Attack and give them health through Sacrifice. In a way, she’s a really well-rounded unit, and I’m assuming her stats reflect the same thing.
Here’s a dagger unit that finally seems worth his weight (sorry Neko Sakura, your cute Halloween cat ears are still in my dreams, but not in a creepy way). Sothe appears to be any team’s best friend with a weapon that debuffs every enemy stat within a certain range while also buffing every stat for allies in a certain range. Plus, he also Spurs Attack and Speed during combat. However, without proper protection this kind of benefit appears temporary as his other skills suggest he’s quite the glass canon. An interesting unit indeed, and one that seems like he would mesh well with a blade tome user.
So in case it wasn’t obvious, Zelgius is the Black Knight without his helmet on — the Black Knight being a unit who was a prize some time ago in a Tempest Trial, except now he’s apparently stronger stat-wise from what I’ve been told. Also there’s apparently some controversy over the fact that his appearance in this form spoils Radiant Dawn plot points? But to be completely honest a lot of characters spoil plot points in their games so I’m not sure what the problem is. I don’t think I have a lot to say about this guy’s skills. He has the same weapon/special attack as his reskin, but now he gains attack when attacked, can warp around like crazy and converts opponent buffs into penalties. Definitely sounds like a strong guy… But I just can’t get over how much his face isn’t what I expected to see without the mask.
Despite the fact that he got the least amount of writing up above, I think Sothe is actually the character on this banner that I want the most.
Like I said before he looks like a match made in heaven for a blade tome user, and as a result would make a perfect balance on my infantry team alongside Nino and my other stat buffing unit Eirika.
Even though I want Sothe a lot (much to the teasing pleasure of my friend Jonathan who managed to summon the guy almost immediately), the other two wouldn’t be so bad either. Micaiah especially. I’d be very down to join the scarf squad with her.
Luckily, I managed to enter this banner with an abundance of orbs thanks to the recent Tempest Trials and my early summon of flying New Year Azura.
Yeah that’s right, 95. Well earned if I do say so myself, and there’s more waiting in the sidelines from a new Squad Assault and Chain Challenges.
After blowing through about 30 of those orbs, however… I more or less learned my lesson to be careful where I put my money.
Don’t get me wrong, five stars are never a bad thing necessarily… But as much as I love Clair from Echoes, she’s just not a fantastic unit in Heroes.
Especially compared to Cordelia, who’s served me loyally since the very beginning.
As I keep cautious with my orb horde, I think that makes it a good time to jump over to the story accompanying these three new heroes.
I kind of spoiled this earlier, but the Radiant Dawn banner opens itself up in a continuation of the Book II storyline.
Speaking of… Don’t get me started on how much I want to throw my phone at the irony of Gunnthrá suggesting we should meet after I got screwed out of summoning her to meet in person already.
Talk about a hell of a tease.
Anyway, her dream guidance is that the Order of Heroes should come to the ice kingdom to meet with her so everyone can combine forces to fight the evil fire king.
The story for this leg of Book II is fairly front loaded actually, as you immediately jump to the Order discussing their war plans in the face of a new powerful enemy. Namely, Anna mentions that the king of Askr is off leading some troops into battle.
The fiery King Surtr is also given more characterization suggesting that he’s nuts and bloodthirsty, a theme we will return to later.
When Fjorm hears that you met her sister in a dream, she pretty much immediately suggests you follow her direction and head to their homeland for backup.
Once that is established, the fighting begins.
The maps themselves for this story mission are decent, though it seems odd to me that they would go with Askrian terrain rather than copying maps from Radiant Dawn, considering this is that game’s unit’s time in the spotlight.
In hindsight that is a complaint I could have aired when the Children of Fate were new… But then again it does all make sense in light of the fact that Book II is less a series of connected miniature adventures than Book I in place of a more serialized story.
That said, there isn’t a lot of serialized story across the majority of the ice-covered maps, Chapter 3-1 through Chapter 3-4. The little bits of plot are pretty much just introductions for the Radiant Dawn characters you fight.
Don’t mind Oliver, by the way. He’s uhh… He’s a special looking, apparently meme-worthy guy who’s going to show up in a Grand Hero Battle soon.
Things start to develop when you arrive at the final map and come face-to-face with a new challenge.
The source of those flames are Laevatein, my favorite of the lot, showing what seems to suggest the beginning of a pattern where each of the fiery nation’s main units are going to headline each chapter from here on.
Her gimmick seems to be an almost robotic adherence to the rules set in place by her father and sister, which is an interesting touch I wasn’t quite expecting.
Once you beat her, she retreats and the Order decides to take a break from their journey to help restore the burned village. Though this move makes sense, it’s almost comically similar to them straight up saying “here’s the commercial break before our next episode.”
Yet… The story doesn’t end quite yet.
For some reason tired of their alliance, Veronica decides to leave having assisted the fire nation with her contracted units.
That doesn’t sit well with the king.
Yeah… Remember when I said this guy is a crazy, sadistic nut job?
Case an point: Crazy grin while imagining a little girl burning to death.
Honestly for as over-the-top as this comes across, I do admittedly appreciate the way they made a villain who’s undeniably awful for everyone to stand up again.
I’m just hoping Veronica switches sides and we get the chance to use her against this ultimate foe. That would be pretty awesome.
Boy howdy, this really was a hell of a marathon wasn’t it? I love it when there are a lot of things to cover, but it is a bit exhausting when everything takes this long.
I guess if nothing else I can appreciate it as a little something fun before I dive back into killing myself with work that I for some reason thought would be a good way to get back into the swing of things.
So, how about I take a break from talking your ear off and once more offer the chance for a larger discussion.
How do you feel about the updates that came with version 2.1.0?
Out of the Radiant Dawn heroes added, which is your favorite?
What do you think of the way Book II is developing? Personally, I happen to think the way they’ve gone with it is pretty intriguing.
Is the best part of this update the new game loading screen that I used as the featured image for this post?
Let me know your thoughts somewhere on the internet, and until next time… I’ll be resisting the urge not to make myself broke again.