Tag: Order of Heroes

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

Ah Valentine’s Day. What a lovely day of loving loveable people.

Except for those of us who don’t have a significant other to spoil in that romantic kind of way.

Like me!

For us, there’s only one way to celebrate this most commercial day of love:

Playing Fire Emblem Heroes. Naturally.


GreilHeroic Exemplar

  • Faithful Axe (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Aether (Cooldown = 5)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat. Restores Health = half the damage dealt.
  • Fury 4 (A Skill)
    • Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4. After combat, deals 8 damage to unit.
  • Wary Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, unit and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, both units can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).

SorenAddled Strategist

  • Blárblooms (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Rally Attack/Speed (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Speed Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Speed -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Resistance Opening (C Skill)
    • At start of the turn, grants Resistance +6 to ally with the highest Resistance for one turn (excluding unit).

MistPurest Spirit

  • Gronnblooms (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Rally Defense/Resistance (Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Resistance Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Resistance -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Green Tome Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all green tome allies on team net 2x Skill Points (only highest value applied, does not stack).

IkeStalwart Heart

  • Heart’s Blade (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Radiant Aether (Cooldown = 4)
    • During combat, treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent. Restores Health = 50 percent of damage dealt.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Special Fighter (B Skill)
    • At the start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Even Speed Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Speed +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Right off the bat, I think it’s worth noting that I vastly preferred the approach taken by last year’s Valentine’s Day banner.

There we had Roy and Lilina as a romantic pairing, with their fathers cutely handling the potential relationship in different ways.

With this banner, Ike and his sister reunite with their father. As sweet as it is, I can’t speak to the impact of the character relationships having never played the Radiant games.

Plus Valentine’s Day is usually about romantic love more than family love, so the choice to add Greil here seems a bit bizarre. Why not for Father’s Day?

That being said, Greil — namesake of The Greil Mercenaries, is an interesting character pull.

He’s also easily the best unit on this banner, despite being yet another armored axe-wielder. That power-crept Fury and weapon provide +7 to each stat when next to an ally, and if that ally is armored he also gets to move an extra space.

The other three don’t work quite as well with the same weapon gimmick in my opinion, as Mist and Soren are both different flavors of the new Feint/Rally skill combo and Ike is another long-range red armor.

He’s the second best thing on the banner because Black Knight is a broken unit archetype, but that’s almost a given when Ike is involved.

I kind of feel like I should have used my orbs to invest more into the Duma banner, considering I got neither Duma nor Tiki.

But I can’t be mad because Intelligent Systems gave me a very nice Valentine’s Day present:

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Both at 3 percent? Sure I might be a little salty that Mist and Greil are in the same color pool, but this kind of luck is unheard of for me.

If there’s anything I can complain about, it’s the genetic likelihood that Ike and his sister each have unique hair colors from their brown-haired father…

It’s almost like the game developers wanted cool hair colors and didn’t focus too much on continuity.

Or the Ike family has some weird recessive genes. I suppose.

The two-year anniversary events have given me the chance to save up a bunch of orbs, so with my luck I’ll save up to see who else comes around next.

Speaking of saving orbs, how about that new Paralogue chapter?

Segue: Nailed.


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While the aesthetic of the Valentine’s Day maps aren’t my favorite, the actual Paralogue story offers something refreshingly new.

Instead of leading off with the “Order of Heroes goes to get money or food” cliché, this Paralogue doesn’t mention you at all.

It starts with the Greil Mercenaries lamenting Ike’s complaints over his outfit as he slows them down.

Even though it’s kind of what he always wears.

Everyone is shocked to see Greil alive, when he shows up, and It’s really quite nice seeing Ike and Mist so happy to see their father.

Then a few battles pass and we get this scene where Soren is being hella gay for Ike.

So I guess there is romance on this banner?

Everything goes rather smooth until the final battle, which ends with a slightly awkward transition of Greil suggesting that the Order of Heroes surrendered after you defeat them.

I can let it slide, as that moves into another nice scene of the children trying to get their father back.

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D’aww! It nearly crosses the line into being sickly sweet, but I love the character moment and references to Ike’s maturity over two games.

By trimming the usual fat of Anna being vaguely reprehensible as a leader, Intelligent Systems made for a really nice alternate universe story that I quite enjoyed more than most Paralogues.

… Granted, it did make me wonder why Ike and his family got this special treatment when, for example, we had the Hoshidan mother Mikoto brought back to life in Heroes not too long ago with no fan fare.

But hey. All I continue to look for is a return to some new Sacred Stones characters considering we haven’t seen any since before last Valentine’s Day. I’m a simple man.


There we have it, Valentine’s Day 2019 in Fire Emblem Heroes.

The banner units might just be okay, but that’s made up for by a very nice underlying premise.

Those of you who play the game might be wondering why I didn’t do some kind of joint ‘update banner’ post to talk about the Bane/Boon system, new weapon refines, Aether Raids changes and Dragon flowers.

Well… Mostly because I’m kind of burnt out on the mechanical stuff in Heroes. At the moment I’m playing the game for new characters, even if I appreciate things that have been added.

So I think I’ll skip out on some of the update info for a bit and keep my writing focused on banners, just to keep the game more fun for me.

That said, let me know what you think about these holiday units, and tell me who you want to see in the game next!

Hot heroes hit the springs

Hot heroes hit the springs

With the spring 2019 semester recently kicking off, I can’t think of any better way to stave off my looming cloud of stress than to blather on about nonessential pleasantries.

Luckily Intelligent Systems has just what the doctor ordered with a well-timed banner of special heroes!


RyomaSamurai at Ease

  • It’s Curtains… (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • At the start of turn 1, grants Special Attack cooldown count -2.
  • Luna (Cooldown = 3)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat.
  • Attack/Defense Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +6 during combat.
  • Chill Speed (B Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, inflicts Speed -7 on for on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Odd Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of odd-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

SakuraHot-Spring Healer

  • Grandscratcher (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • At the start of turn 1, grants Special Attack cooldown charge -1 to ally with the highest Attack.
  • Physic (Range = 2)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (minimum of 8 Health).
  • Fireflood Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Resistance +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
    • Calculates damage from staff like other weapons.
  • Speed Opening (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Speed +6 to ally with the highest Speed for one turn (excluding this unit).

EliseBubbling Flower

  • Red-Hot Ducks (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, deals damage = 70 percent of the difference between stats (maximum of 7, combos with Phantom Speed). After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on foe’s within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Rally Up Attack (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +6 to target ally and allies within two spaces (excluding unit) for one turn.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Attack Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Attack -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Dagger Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all dagger allies on team get x2 Skill Points (only highest value applied, does not stack).

HinokaRelaxed Warrior

  • Splashy Bucket (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Disables foe’s skills that “calculate damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance” and “calculate damage from staff like other weapons.” After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Draw Back (Range = 1)
    • Unit moves one space away from target ally. Ally moves to unit’s previous space.
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Attack/Speed Link (B Skill)
    • If a movement assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack/Speed to both unit and ally for one turn.
  • Air Orders (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants “Unit can move to a space adjacent to any ally within two spaces” to adjacent flying allies for one turn.

Seeing the initial silhouette teaser for this banner piqued my interest.

I had no idea who we were looking at and, at the time, wasn’t expecting any special banners until Valentine’s Day.

Yet I rolled my eyes without even thinking after I found out we were getting more Fire Emblem Fates royal sibling alts.

I’m a fan of Fates and everything, but there are so many characters from it who have no representations. Meanwhile Tempest Trials Camilla is her sixth alternate costumes.

It’s disheartening… But unfortunately I’m such a fan of the Hoshidan royal sisters that the game had me at Sakura and Hinoka.

Wanting this Sakura because I like her character and status as a pegasus-riding staff user probably won’t save me when the police come for summoning a near underage girl in a towel…

But that’s a bridge I’ll cross later.

Oh, and I’m 100 percent summoning for characters, not skills, on this banner. Hinoka is the only one with an interesting build, so she and Sakura are my focus.

Unfortunately, all 60 orbs have gotten me is a 3-star original Sakura.

So you know what that means? Time for paralogue orbs!


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Shout out to that armored unit with the buns on his head in map 30-1. He’s worth this entire mediocre banner.

Outside of his majesty there isn’t a whole lot to say for the story.

There’s kind of no explanation as to why the Order of Heroes has to jump in. The royal siblings have just been put under a contract but… Nobody knows why?

Also it’s just a side story, so Alfonse isn’t dead from Hel’s curse yet.

He’s simply concerned about heading into such a private place.

Luckily my keen interest in cute redheads is vindicated by the way they share Alfonse’s reservations.

The Nohr sisters seem more than eager to just let a bunch of soldiers join them in the baths.

Yet that’s the only bit of story worth talking about here.

After the fighting ends, Anna makes a comment about wanting a hot springs in the Order’s castle, which seems less a nod to future content than it is an outlet for Alfonse to make fun of the girls for getting into useless tasks too quickly.

So… Orbs.

Hurray!


If it wasn’t obvious, this banner didn’t really excite me.

I’m happy to shill out orbs for Hinoka or Sakura in lieu of the beast units who are going in the main summoning pool, but I don’t particularly care about any of the units mechanically.

Even my complaint about Fates units being used again is easily mitigated by the argument that Fates had the first canonical hot spring system. So that’s a banal annoyance at best.

Perhaps the Valentine’s Day units will get me more hyped up, but for now this isn’t much more than a neat distraction from school.

That’s just my opinion though. Let me know what you think of these special hot springs units!

Fire Emblem Heroes goes full beast mode

Fire Emblem Heroes goes full beast mode

I’ve said before that the Radiant games are an unfortunate blank spot in my experience with Fire Emblem. When I found out beast units were finally on their way and that they would be from this particular universe, I was a little hesitant about whether I’d want them over some potential other options like Kaden or Yarne.

But then we saw what these beasts were packing, and my first reaction was:

Why are there so many different kinds of animal units out of this one Fire Emblem continent? Hawks, swans, ravens AND wolves seem a bit over the top.

Then my second reaction was:

Oh man, there’s some potential here.


TibarnLord of the Air

  • Hawk King Claw (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If foe’s Health = 100 percent and unit initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies, or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise they revert). If unit transforms, they can move one extra space and grants Attack +2 (that turn only, does not stack).
      • Will furthermore be referred to as ‘Beast transformation effect.’
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Sturdy Impact (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +6 and Defense +10 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Chill Attack (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
  • Even Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of even-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

LeanneForest’s Song

  • Heron Wing (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At start of turn, restores 7 Health to allies within two spaces of unit. Beast transformation effect applies.
  • Sing (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally.
  • Mirror Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Flier Formation (B Skill)
    • Unit can move to a space adjacent to a flying ally within two spaces.
  • Hone Beasts (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent beast allies for one turn.

ReysonWhite Prince

  • Heron Wing (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At start of turn, restores 7 Health to allies within two spaces of unit. Beast transformation effect applies.
  • Sing (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally.
  • Steady Posture (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Speed and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Fortify Beasts (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to adjacent beast allies for one turn.

NailahUnflinching Eye

  • Wolf Queen Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). During combat, boosts unit’s Attack and Speed by the number of allies within two spaces x2 (max of +6 to each stat). Beast transformation effect applies, and unit deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Null C-Disrupt (B Skill)
    • Neutralizes status effects and disables skills that prevent counterattacks during combat.
  • Glare (C Skill)
    • After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts status on target and foes within one space of target restricting movement to one space through their next actions.

So fun fact, writing out the skills for these units took nearly 500 words. Beasts take up a lot of god damn text, apparently.

That said, I would say all that text was very worth it for how broken some of these units look. Namely Tibarn and Nailah.

The two swans are interesting in that we’re leading with singing units for our introduction to beasts, as well as the fact that they have the exact same weapon in two different colors — which I think is a first?

But Tibarn hits like a truck with all of his attack, and that new Attack/Defense buff from Sturdy Impact is a crazy power creep.

Then Nailah basically always triggers Moonbow from any distance while neutering the opponent’s skills and movement range. It’s crazy to me that we finally have a non-Hector unit with Distant Counter and she appears just as broken.

So yeah. I’m definitely focusing more on red and blue stones in this banner.

… It’s just too bad all of the holiday banners sapped my orb supply.

Luckily the new run of Forging Bonds is giving out one free summon ticket for each character.

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Sure that’s a downgrade from the seven we’ve gotten out of daily rewards in the past, but we’ve got a whole new chapter in Book III to help bolster that orb supply.


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This new story chapter starts by setting the scene for what I imagine we’ll see for a while:

King Gustav tells his son to avoid Hel at all costs, as she is literally death and no matter how strong one becomes they cannot help but succumb to death.

He talks about how he had prior experience fighting Hel years ago, which left him with his battle scar.

… I’ll admit, I didn’t see the scar until he brought it up, but now that I know the lines on his face aren’t just wrinkles and crow’s nests, I understand the danger.

After the brief introduction, business goes about as usual. Anna leads the Order of Heroes into battle and there’s a good four matches without any serious exposition.

The most interesting bit of dialogue we get is from Reyson:

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What’s interesting about this is Princess Veronica is the one who forges contracts with units, but apparently it’s the Askran ancestor who does so for Hel.

Maybe that’s just interesting to me?

When the next map begins, King Gustav’s advice goes right out the window as it turns out Hel is there. Her daughter, Eir, provides a bit of foreshadowing.

Feh Plot Meme
Didn’t think I’d forget about this dumb meme, did you?

Once the battle commences, Hel is surprisingly easy to kill (on the lower difficulties where she has an Iron Axe, anyway). But for story reasons her defeat turns out to be a subterfuge.

She reappears and brings context to the name of the chapter by cursing Alfonse to die in nine days. Why she couldn’t just take him right away with her scythe as she does in the opening cinematic is beyond me…

But it does open up this philosophy dialogue:

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So you know. Sometimes we have to be poetic rather than sensible.

Let’s just hope the next bit of story comes within nine days so the prince doesn’t die.


Keen viewers out there will know that a few days ago I promised this would be coming out yesterday. That’s because I can’t read dates, apparently!

The banner is out now however, so here we are. That means you should expect a second post about my time at Alyson’s mini band banquet later tonight.

Until then, let me know what you think about the brand new beast units in Fire Emblem Heroes, and which beasts you want to see come out next!

Also, just for curiosity sake, let me know what you think about how inefficient Hel was with that ‘nine day curse’ thing. Like she is literally death get a little more realistic, lady.

Holly Jolly Heroes

Holly Jolly Heroes

Boy it sure does feel like I was covering the start of Book III just yesterday, doesn’t it? Glad to see Intelligent Systems isn’t slowing down with these new units.

Luckily today we just have a smaller holiday-themed banner, which makes it a quick distraction from my finals. Which, by the way, is why I’m not getting this out earlier. Had my Sensation and Perception exam at 12 p.m.

It was kind of a mess, but that’s a story for another day.

I’d much rather talk about this banner right now, as it involves my favorite Fire Emblem game! Especially since the units fill some interesting niches.


FaeHoliday Dear

  • Glittering Breath (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • During combat, boosts unit’s Defense and Resistance by the number of allies within two spaces x 2 (max bonus of +6). If foe’s range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of the foe’s Defense or Resistance.
  • Luna (Cooldown = 3)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat.
  • Defense/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Defense and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Vengeful Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space (this turn only, does not stack).

EphraimSparkling Gallantly

  • Festive Siegmund (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Dragon Fang (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Attack/Defense Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +6 during combat.
  • Bold Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
  • Close Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

EirikaGentle as Snow

  • Joyous Lantern (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +5 to ally with the highest Attack for one turn (excluding this unit).
  • Restore (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (min of 8 Health). Neutralizes ally’s penalties and negative status effects that last through ally’s next action.
  • Heavenly Light (Cooldown = 2)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, restores 10 Health to all allies.
  • Dazzling Staff (B Skill)
    • Foe cannot counterattack.
  • Attack Opening (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Attack +6 to ally with the highest Attack for one turn (excluding this unit).

If I haven’t made it obvious before, I don’t celebrate Christmas. So it’s not exactly a time where I get super hyped up on holiday spirit. Thus, events in games that I play are usually my major connections to said spirit.

Everyone loves themselves some holiday variants, after all. Last year’s Christmas banner introduced a bunch of skills that changed the game by making armor units truly powerful.

This year… Not so much. But as a forever fan of the Sacred Stones I do love seeing Eirika and Ephraim. Hopefully between their appearance this Christmas, Tana and Ephraim showing up over the summer and Myrrh on Halloween we’re gearing up for new characters soon!

In terms of what the new variants bring to the table, Ephraim retains his solo warrior schtick, though it takes on an interesting light when applied to an armor unit.

Eirika stands out as being our first healing armored unit, and she’s an especially interesting support because of how she buffs your most powerful teammate.

Fae… Isn’t quite as important to me. I haven’t played the game she’s from and we already have male Grima as a green armored dragon.

So obviously two units were on my radar here, and as far as my luck has taken me so far:

I already got my boi! Plus an extra copy of Morgan, who has some nice skills to give away.

I also summoned a duplicate five-star Nanna, which is neat even if she stole Eirika’s thunder.

What makes this holiday banner particularly interesting is that it not last for a month, but we also have access to last year’s banner for the same amount of time!

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Definitely going after Tharja again once I have Eirika.

But wait, that’s not all! Intelligent Systems has tripled the Christmas cheer by also starting the Tempest Trial right away:

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Between Ephraim and my Lissa from last year, I’ve got this in the bag.

All the more orbs for me to use alongside these Paralogue rewards.


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For the most part, this Paralogue offers a standard story with a few moments of humor that stand out decently well.

As usual the Order of Heroes has decided to take part in a yearly festival so they can bolster their supplies. But this time they have true opponents:

Fjorm and her sister Ylgr confirm that the Nifl units have not disappeared into the aether thanks to the start of Book III. I just hope they’ll make an appearance in the main story as well!

The Order first encounters a particularly bossy Fae.

Then they find Ephraim and Cecilia having an interesting conversation remarking on one another’s renown in legends. It’s similar to his conversations with Hector from the Brave banner, except this time he asks if she would be willing to instruct him in the art of magic.

To which she replies:

And totally tears him down. It’s actually kind of hilarious watching Ephraim fall apart when he’s suddenly told that there’s no hope for him learning a new fighting style.

Of course that’s all set dressing, as the Order shows up and hands them a big, steaming L.

When they retread and join the others, your squad easily beats them once more to receive all the big holiday prizes. Though I can’t imagine all of these contest holders are happy with the Order coming in and winning every single one…

But hey, turns out Nifl was fighting against you in the contest. So Ylgr gives you a bit of guilt:

Which leads to Sharena giving them all of the gifts. It’s frankly the least they can do for a nation that was completely ravaged not that long ago.

Once the Nifl princesses leave, there’s an extended portion of the epilogue where Anna finds out that Sharena still believes in this realm’s version of Santa Claus because Alfonse never told her he wasn’t real.

For a subject that might have just been a fun little aside, this gag goes on for way too long in-game.

So I’m not going to offer it near as much screen time. Play the game if you want to see more!


And with that, more virtual holidays have come and gone. This season’s bounty is truly worth the orb splurge in my opinion… Though in just a week or two we’ll be getting the New Year’s banner as well.

So hey, summon with your own discretion.

Let me know what you think of these new holiday units, and who you want to see get a seasonal alt next in the comments below!

Book III opens, death comes out

Book III opens, death comes out

It figures that a week before finals we get not only the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but also a huge update to Fire Emblem Heroes.

All of this excitement definitely is not helping me stay ready for exams.

But we’re not here for school-related stuff today. No, this is a two-part blog post about the big introduction to Book III! Yesterday I talked about the Feh Channel that Nintendo put out, that way today I could devote all of my time to the beginning of the story.

So knowing this is going to be long enough as is, let’s get into it shall we?

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 begins in an… Unexpected place.

Some time has passed since the end of Book II, though the actual period isn’t specified. Our first scene has the Queen of Askr, Alfonse and Sharena’s mother, arriving at the Order of Heroes’ castle with a mission at hand:

After Henriette becomes acquainted with you, the team heads back to Askr proper.

On the way there are aggressive soldiers from the rival nation of Embla — not seen since Book I. The siblings find this strange given how far they are from the nation’s border, but their mother explains what is happening.

Interestingly enough, despite the fact that these enemy units are supposed to be Emblian units previously encountered, there are a whole host of new unit types on the enemy side. Colored bow users, colored dagger users and flying manaketes among them.

Soon enough the Order starts to come across the two generals of Hel’s army:

Upon seeing the two figures on the battlefield, Alfonse and Sharena immediately recognize them. It turns out both figures are intrinsically linked to the characters in an interesting way.

They are the ancestors of the royal siblings and Princess Veronica respectively.

How the characters will deal with their ancestors should be an interesting development throughout the story.

When the Order finally approaches Askr castle they’re intercepted at the gate by Eir, princess of the dead. Once she’s defeated she submits to death by the hand of Alfonse (because I guess the princess of the dead wasn’t dead? Go figure that one out), but he spares her. Instead they take the girl as a prisoner and eventually a wary ally because she supposedly ran away from home and would not be allowed to return.

I say supposedly because… Well… Intelligent Systems blew their load on the surprise before Eir even arrived.

You couldn’t have kept this as a reveal for the future instead of telling us right off the bat?

Ah well. Her character description says she doesn’t quite enjoy her mother’s assault on the living, so at least the character transitioning into a true ally is still available.

But until then we have her as a “tentative” ally.

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I get the feeling most people are going to latch onto the princess fast. Because boy is she packing heat with that base kit of hers.


EirMerciful Death

Skill Set:

  • Lyfjaberg (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Resistance +3. At the start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat, and if unit initiates combat, foe cannot make a 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. If bonus was granted to unit, deals 4 damage to unit.
  • Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Mystic Boost (B Skill)
    • Disables foe’s skills that “calculate damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance” and “calculate damage from staff like other weapons.” Restores 6 Health after combat.
  • Sparkling Boost (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, restores 10 Health to ally that has been dealt the most damage (excluding this unit).

Analysis:

Eir is just good. Her weapon and A Skill give her a ton of Attack and Speed at the cost of a little health each turn, but her B Skill just restores that health while nullifying a ton of different abilities that might give her enemies an edge.

Add onto that the high resistance attack buff of Iceberg and general ally healing and… Yeah, she’s solid.

A hell of a unit to have given us for free.


Chapter 2

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Chapter 2 begins in the grand halls of Askr castle… Of which we see one background panel.

Alfonse and his father, Gustav, vaguely dance around the reason why Alfonse had said he wasn’t allowed back home before just jumping into the meat of story-relevant exposition.

Apparently there’s a single entrance to Hel that had been sealed for over 20 years by the king’s best defenses. However something happened to the gateway that allowed denizens of the dead to emerge once more.

Right away there’s some weird business going on with Gustav being very harsh toward Alfonse while subsequently ignoring Sharena… But later we also get some dialogue with the queen that suggests he’s that archetype of a grizzled old father who wants his son to avoid the same mistakes he made.

But I’ll get to that.

First we have to discuss the shoehorned in appearance of Veronica after battle two.

There’s more vague alluding to the time skip at this point when Loki shows up out of nowhere to ask Veronica for some kind of cooperation in fighting the soldiers of Hel. They also reference Veronica’s brother Bruno, who had deus ex machina’d his way into the end of Book II but is now off on some secret mission again.

Despite Veronica’s hesitation, Loki suggests a partnership between the two nations because dead people just want to kill all living people.

We don’t have a solid idea of Hel’s motivation yet so let’s go with that for now.

My only wish is that we also get a connection to the Nifl/Múspell conflict here instead of just sticking with the Askr/Embla stuff. At the end of Book II Fjorm did join the Order permanently knowing she was dying from the after effects of the Rite of Frost.

Did she die? Or will she and Hríd and everyone be able to help fight the dead?

So far the only reference we’ve gotten to Book II comes at the end of the fifth battle. It centers around the Order of Heroes arriving at the gateway to Hel and seeing thousands of soldiers pouring out to attack a nearby village. They distract the forces long enough for Askr’s full army to arrive and rout the enemy, at which point Gustav scolds his son.

They do bring the moment around into a pretty nice message about what it means to be a king, showing that the harshness is less about being a calloused father and more about trying to groom a proper heir:

But it still seems like a stretch to toss out the entirety of Book II’s scope and consequences by saying it didn’t make everyone in the Order a hero.

You could show some more affection toward your son you know Mr. Grizzled Old Man Archetype. I’m sure that would make things better come the inevitable existential crisis of fighting death and literally seeing his sister get taken into her army.

Since you know, we’ve seen that it’s coming in the opening cutscene.

Just saying.


For now that’s all we’ve got in the Book III story. Everything is obviously a bit rough around the edges as we only have the earliest exposition set out before us.

However, not counting ridiculous things like the developers spoiling Eir’s possible double-cross later, there were a few good surprises just in the first two chapters. Connecting Hel’s generals to the history of the game’s two main nations in particular makes me interested to see more.

But with all that said, this post is extra long considering I had to sum up two chapter’s worth of story. So I’m going to leave everything to all of you here:

What do you think of the Book III story thus far? Where do you think it’s going to go? Where do you want it to go? How should we boycott the game if the Book II characters never show up again?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below! I, for one, am looking forward to getting some of that Fire Emblem Heroes fix in again.

A Feh Channel to die for

A Feh Channel to die for

When the Fire and Ice banner was released in Fire Emblem Heroes, we got our first good look at the story being established for Book III through its Xenologue, in which a figure called Hel — ruler of the underworld — stole the immense power of the recently deceased Múspell tyrant Surtr.

Today’s Feh Channel finally gave us the skinny on everything we can expect to see coming out of Heroes in the near future.

Just when I thought I was out… They pull me back in.

The video began with an introductory cinematic for the next chapter in this ever-evolving story.

Overall, I would argue I actually liked the Book II cinematic better. The instant I saw Laevateinn, Loki and Surtr for the first time I was hooked. I needed to know more about who they were, especially as the Order of Heroes paired off to fight them.

With the Book III characters, I’m honestly more intrigued in them from an aesthetic perspective than a personality perspective.

Hel, as well as the two generals she has working under her, all have a macabre Victorian-era look that’s pretty great. Everything about the land of the dead shown off here gives more of an old English look than the Norse-inspired fantasy worlds of Book II.

In spite of the fact that Hel is the goddess of death in Norse mythology as well.

The sudden shift into an 1800s look, combined with the gothic, ethereal living dead designs is pretty sweet.

Once the video ends, we cut back to the Order’s castle where Feh jumps into expository mode that clashes wildly against the darker tone Intelligent Systems tried to convey with heavy metal and Sharena’s apparent death.

Feh introduces us to the four new characters that we saw in the video:


Hel

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Death Sovereign

Pretty much just a sexy skeleton lady. Someone certainly made a design choice here.

Don’t get me wrong she’s cool, and the general skeletal look + scythe combo definitely screams death. It’s just kind of silly to me that we’ve transitioned from big, imposing fire tyrant to sexy bone lady.


Eir

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Merciful Death

The princess of the realm of the dead, daughter of Hel. Seems to not enjoy her royal status considering she is confirmed to be the free five-star hero we’ll get upon completing Book III, Chapter 1. Rides a dope ass death Pegasus into battle and I’m INTO it.


Thrasir

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Omnicidal Witch

Now Thrasir I like. Invoking omnicide in her epithet, as in all-encompassing genocide, is pretty metal. She looks cool, powerful and deadly.

Out of all the new characters, I think I’ll enjoy seeing where her story goes the most.


Líf

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Lethal Swordsman

I’m somewhat bothered by the fact that we’re introducing a new character whose name can be easily confused with the already existing Prince Leif, but hey. Spooky mask skeleton knight.

It’s hard not to appreciate that, even if it is the most cliché “cool” villain archetype I can possibly imagine.


As we hear from Feh in the video: “The Askran Kingdom was just getting used to peace, but now it’s being invaded by forces from Hel.”

Beyond the fact that the quote sounds hilarious in Feh’s voice, an allusion to a time skip is the only thing I’m hesitant about regarding Book III.

If we really do skip ahead some time, it might feel disjointed. How long did Hel wait to use Surtr’s powers? Will the Nifl and Múspell characters play any kind of role or just get tossed aside? How will Loki fit in after going around Nohr and Hoshido messing with Azura and Anankos?

Yeah I paid attention Intelligent Systems. These plot points better fit together.

After touching on the generalities of the story, Feh briefly discuss some new things we’re going to get in the 3.0.0 update. Included are:

  • Four new blessings: Light, Dark, Astra and Anima. Obviously based on the Trinity of Magic from games like Sacred Stones, so I’m immediately attached.
  • A “new” kind of unit called a Mythic Hero. Essentially just Legendary Heroes for the Trinity blessings.
    • Eir will be the first light Mythic Hero, similar to how Fjorm was the first Legendary Hero who joined the Order for story reasons.
  • A Hero Fest that features Owain, Ophelia, Lewyn and Eir. A strange collection… Probably not one I’ll spend too many orbs on.
  • A new item called “First Summon Tickets,” essentially allowing us to replicate the effects of the new banner free first summon whenever we want. I appreciate that this is supplemental and not replacing the usual free summon. Though the fact that they last for one banner only kind of sucks.
  • Beast units are coming! The first will be Tibarn, a hawk guy from Radiant Dawn (who I have no connection to), but hopefully that means we’ll get characters like Kaden and Yarne soon enough.


With that, the party’s over for now. This is all the information Feh was willing to give us for the time being.

Luckily we’ll only have to wait until tonight to find out more!

So until I write all about the first two story chapters tomorrow, let me know what you think about this spookier, serious direction Fire Emblem Heroes seems to be going in.

Or, more importantly, let me know what you think about beast units finally coming. Boy that’s something we’ve been waiting on for years now.


If you want to see part 2 on the story of Book III chapters 1 and 2, take a look here!

Cool runnings in Nifl’s past

Cool runnings in Nifl’s past

With the addition of our newest Legendary Hero Hríd, the sole Prince of Nifl, we finally have every Book II character released as a playable unit in Fire Emblem Heroes.

Just in time for Book III to start in December. It’s almost like Intelligent Systems planned this stuff out!

But did they plan out Hríd well?


HrídIcy Blade

  • Gjöll (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If a penalty inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten, and/or a negative status effect (preventing counterattacks or restricting movement) is active on foe, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack and foe cannot.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense or Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Freezing Seal (B Skill)
    • At the start of a turn, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, inflicts Attack/Speed -6 on foe with the lowest Resistance through its next action.
  • Attack Smoke (C Skill)
    • Inflicts Attack -7 on foes within two spaces of target through their next actions after combat.

From a purely conceptual standpoint, I actually really like the idea behind Hríd’s base skill kit. His B skill weakens the strongest enemy on the opposing team so that he can race in on his horse and slay them with the guaranteed follow-up of his sword.

On top of that he has defensive capabilities thanks to Distant Counter, which balances things out.

Overall it’s a really solid set of capabilities, and if nothing else it’s great to have a new unit with Distant Counter given how rare the ability is.

To be completely honest my only real problem with Hríd is the fact that… Well…

We literally just had a sword cavalier as a Legendary Hero with Eirika.

Come on Intelligent Systems, at least separate out the weapon/move type combinations a little better. Maybe make Hríd a sword armor unit or something, that way we can have a power crept Black Knight as a Legendary Hero.

I don’t know , the quick repetition bugs me. But even so I don’t mind the character himself.

On top of that, his entourage in the special Legendary Hero banner isn’t so bad:

Red and green hold the most interest for me this time around. Hríd, Legendary Ryoma, Summer Innes and Kana are all not in my current arsenal, and thus all worth summoning.

In the other two colors the only character I’m missing is Brave Hector.

I do want Brave Hector, but I’m not sure he’s worth potentially getting another Legendary Lucina or Summer Cordelia.

Also can we hold an intervention for Intelligent Systems to not include female Grima in any more of these banners? I’m pretty sure she’s been in every single one.

There better be some cool story thing that comes out of that eventually.

While I started with about 200 orbs once again, it took me 50 or so to get something of particular interest to me:

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All the animosity I stored toward the Legendary Lobster since his first appearance when he took all my orbs and never showed up has finally been relieved.

I don’t know that I’ll ever be the same still… But he’s +Attack, -Resistance. Which I think is his best build.

So hey I guess I can’t really complain.

I’ve also gotten a second Laevatein at this point, but she’s not very good compared to the one I had already.

I don’t know whether I’ll spend a lot more orbs on this banner unless I get a bunch in the near future. At this point there aren’t enough units left to justify it.

But at least there are Legendary Battle Maps to score some extra orbs, right?

Nailed the transition.


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While most of the Legendary Battle Maps have been cool examples of a stage from the character’s original game, I particularly appreciate what they did for Hríd.

His map appears to be the Rite of Frost chamber from Heroes’ main story, seen back when Kinshi Hinoka first came out, but frozen over more than ever. It’s a nice touch for people who have been sticking with this game for a long time.

As far as the difficulty goes? I mean it’s the same old reinforcement map bs as always. Not very fun in my opinion.

What is more fun to discuss is the Forging Bonds that coincides with Hríd’s addition featuring the four Nifl siblings:

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I haven’t gotten very far into any of the support conversation threads, but what I have seen has been so different than usual that it’s pretty engaging.

The overall theme of the event is a prequel of sorts. The story starts off prior to Surtr’s invasion right around the time when Gunnthrá apparently has a premonition that he will be coming soon.

Group sections seem to focus on the siblings preparing together (a somber twist considering how the story goes) while the individual conversations each have the siblings meeting you in their dreams.

Again I don’t know where they wind up going just yet, but I’m very excited to see!


I’m going to level with you guys, I thought I was going to end this off early tonight and go to bed.

Then I got distracted with some videos online and somehow it turned into 2:00 a.m.

So I’m not going to put a lot of fanfare into this conclusion. Just let me know what you think of Hríd, what you want to see in the future, all that fun stuff.

That said, I’ll see you in the next FEH post where I’ll hopefully be more awake.

Fire and Ice and Everything Nice

Fire and Ice and Everything Nice

After the last Heroes summoning banner left me feeling so burned, I’m glad we finally have a new one that’s pretty cool to make me throw my orbs against the wall again.

Get it? Burned? Cool?

Because it’s the Fire and Ice banner?

Here let me explain the joke, then it’ll definitely be funnier that way.


YlgrFresh Snowfall

  • Sylgr (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • 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.

SurtrRuler of Flame

  • Sinmara (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • 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.

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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…

Yeah. Us.

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!

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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.

Ha.


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.

Adrift in the Rage

Adrift in the Rage

What better way is there to celebrate Veteran’s Day than to talk about a game in which fantasy characters have taken part in dozens of wars over a number of titles?

Okay no, I’m just kidding. It’s probably really weird and insensitive to joke about Veteran’s Day like that. I have nothing but respect.

I just needed some kind of segue into this Fire Emblem Heroes post that I’ve been putting off because… Boy am I not excited for it.

I know that’s a weird sentiment to walk into one of these with, because in that case why talk about it at all?

Well dear viewer.

The reason I hate this banner is because it is the next evolution in what has been a slow-growing problem.

Hope you’re ready for more of that than actually discussing the banner.


CamillaFlower of Fantasy

  • Book of Dreams (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Attack +3. If unit is adjacent to an ally, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on foe during combat.
  • Draw Back (Range = 1)
    • Unit moves one space away from target ally. Ally moves to unit’s previous space.
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Attack/Resistance Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Resistance +6 to unit and target ally or vice versa for one turn.
  • Goad Fliers (C Skill)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +4 to flying allies within two spaces during combat.

CorrinDream Prince

  • Draconic Rage (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger. If the number of allies within two spaces (excluding unit) > the number of foes within two spaces (excluding target), grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the foe’s lower defensive stat.
  • Dragon Fang (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Null Follow-Up (B Skill)
    • Disables foe’s skills that guarantee foe’s follow-up attack and foe’s skills that prevent unit’s follow-up attack.
  • Hone Dragons (C Skills)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent dragon allies for one turn.

CorrinDream Princess

  • Draconic Rage (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger. If the number of allies within two spaces (excluding unit) > the number of foes within two spaces (excluding target), grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the foe’s lower defensive stat.
  • Rally Attack/Speed (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Fortify Dragons (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to adjacent dragon allies for one turn.

MikotoCaring Mother

  • Flash (Might = 11, Range = 2)
    • After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts status on target and foes within two spaces of target preventing counterattacks through their next actions.
  • Martyr (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = damage dealt to unit +50 percent of Attack (minimum 7). Restores Health to unit = half of damage dealt to unit.
  • Miracle (Cooldown = 5)
    • If unit’s Health > 1 and foe would reduce unit’s Health to 0, unit survives with 1 Health.
  • Brazen Attack/Resistance (A Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≤ 80 percent, grants Attack and Resistance +7 during combat.
  • Infantry Rush (C Skill)
    • Infantry allies within two spaces gain: “If unit’s Attack > foe’s Attack, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).”

Normally I would give my thoughts on each of these units individually. But frankly I think in this case it would be more constructive for me to go through these units in the way I naturally reacted a few days ago.

Starting with the first, most immediately striking question:

“WHY WOULD YOU MAKE A MAIN GAME BANNER WITH THREE DUPLICATE UNITS?!”

Words cannot express how baffling this is to me.

Duplicate units are fine in seasonal banners where they’re one-offs with unique qualities in some way. Something you can hold over people’s heads as a status symbol should you have played the game far longer than them and they missed the giveaway.

But if you’re going to add the units into the regular summoning pool, why not just add new units from the game you’re using? There are dozens of characters in Fates to pull from!

Like my waifu Scarlet. Just add her in. Please.

Instead we get our 17th version of Camilla and two new Corrin alts for basically no reason. Or lore reasons I suppose.

Once I got over that annoyance, I actually looked through the things these units bring to the table. Like sure, it bugged me when Eirika and Hinoka got alternate versions of themselves in the regular summoning pool, but at least they were neat.

These Adrift units don’t have that luxury. They’re so… Boring.

The Corrins didn’t really stand out to me at all outside of that new Null Follow-Up skill that the male one has. Mikoto is the only “new” unit here, but she’s just kind of average in a colorless healing pool that has blossomed recently with Veronica and Halloween Mia.

Camilla is honestly the only one of the four that seems particularly good thanks to the combination of her Attack/Resistance skills making her a decent mage counter as well as a flying support unit.

But she also comes into a summoning pool that has flourished lately. In just the last couple weeks we’ve all received a free flying red mage in Aversa, Summer Tana appeared again on the Legendary Eirika banner and Halloween Nowi came back in a banner retread.

I don’t know, guys. I was able to let this slide when it was just one duplicate unit on occasion despite my desire to see something totally new instead. But three on one banner?

It’s too much. If this is a trend that keeps up, I’ll have some far more choice words for Intelligent Systems. But for now, that’s mostly going to boil down to me boycotting this banner and saving my orbs for something down the line.

That said, was there anything good that came out of this banner?


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Other than the non-banner related stuff, this Paralogue is probably one the most interesting bits of story in this game in a while. Mostly because it’s a substantial interstitial explaining events between Books II and III (coming in December).

In it, we follow Loki talking to young girl Azura — the upcoming Tempest Trial reward unit who’s actually more relevant to everything than the main units here.

As we find out, the Adrift Paralogue is happening in Azura’s dream? I think? They don’t explain that part well. But the four main units in this banner are manifestations of Azura’s family and friends that helped her out of the dark past that was the driving plot of Revelations.

Except we only know that because while this strange philosophical discussion is happening between Loki and young Azura:

The Order of Heroes wakes up confused and is led on by adult Azura to find them. It’s a very short and succinct ‘find out what happened and stop the bad guy’ plot over three battles.

But what makes them so compelling is the extended look at the conversations between Loki and Azura, as they reveal more about what Loki is planning now that Muspell’s king has fallen.

If you map this onto the plot development from the Hoshidan festival banner a few months back, it becomes obvious that Loki is looking to use the power of Anankos for… Something nondescript. She’ll get to that power however she can — Even if it means abusing a tormented young child.

By the end of the Paralogue, she talks to Prince Alfonse and tells him that the Askrans clearly don’t know what potential their family’s ability to close gateways into other worlds has.

Which is a pretty good little cliffhanger considering the brief glance at Book III we’ve gotten so far is just Sharena covered in blood or dirt, reaching toward the camera and crying out.

Obviously some stuff is going to go down soon and this Paralogue is a neat little bridge to get there.

Now if only it didn’t make itself that by using a bunch of throw-away, underwhelming “dream” characters that we’re now stuck with.


I know extended rants probably aren’t the most enticing thing to read, so if you’ve gotten this far I appreciate it. I really just needed a space to complain and vent about this stupid thing in a game I love.

Let’s be honest, I’ve been putting this off for so long that framing it around complaints was the only way I was going to talk about the banner.

Originally I was also going to discuss the new Aether battles feature, because that’s actually something in this update that I like a lot… But I’m already getting pretty wordy here. So if I get around to doing it in the near future, I’ll include a link to my discussion on that at the bottom of this piece.

As usual, let me know how you feel about this new banner. Or let me know if you think I’m just crazy and stupid and wrong.

I’d also gladly accept that kind of criticism.

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

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

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

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

Two large personalities. If you catch my drift.

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

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


Loki — The Trickster

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

So let me jump into them.


Kliff — Curious Spirit

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

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

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


Owain — Chosen One

Skill Set:

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

Analysis:

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

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

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

Also. Just. He’s Owain.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Certainly the paralogue story orbs should be encouraging, right?

Perfect segue as always.



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

Like… Next week at this rate.



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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Yeah is pretty damning.

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

 

 

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

Because I’m definitely up for doing that.

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

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

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


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

What can I say, the muse came to me.

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

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

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

So… Loophole. Yeah.

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

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

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