Joint Operation 6 Headhunting Information
- The listed operators will be the only units available for their respective rarity
- Operator Feature Banners do not add Operators to the Distinction shop
Should You Pull?
The 6★s on this banner are quite good: Exusiai, Mountain, and Kal’tsit are all very strong, and Skadi will be getting a module upgrade that makes her decent (if not great). The problem here is that most of the 5★s are much less good, and there are a lot of better banners around the corner (featuring limited units, broken units, and broken limited units—oh boy!)
If you don't have any of the 6★ Operators, there might be some value in pulling for one of them. However, if you own even one of these 6★s, the appeal drops sharply. Remember that the mechanics of Joint Operation banners make it easy to pull units on the banner, but hard to pull a specific unit. It is not worth pulling for the specific Operator you’re missing, as the odds are too low. With that in mind, saving for the upcoming limited banners might be a better idea than pulling heavily on this banner.
Like with normal banners, a 5★ or higher Operator is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls. Should you pull for that? Definitely not. Apart from Lappland and Liskarm, the 5★s range from “too much effort” (Provence) to “bad even with effort” (Tsukinogi). Your chances of getting one of the “good 5★s” are quite low.
Quick Overview: 6★ Operators
+ Usual archetype strengths: Low DP cost, fast ASPD
+ Devours low-DEF enemies faster than she eats apple pie
+ Wildly effective when buffed by other Operators (i.e., Sora, Warfarin)
+ S3 offers great burst damage
- Requires buffs to be effective against enemies with high DEF (which are increasingly common in high-end content)
- S3 triggers automatically, so requires precise deployment timing if needed at specific times
+ S2 provides a massive ATK buff on deployment—perfect for helidropping
+ S3 gives Skadi massive buffs to HP, ATK, and DEF for its duration—good for more prolonged dueling
+ E2 Talent reduces her redeployment time, helping her to helidrop S2 more frequently
= As a Duelist Guard, she has Block-1 (good for assassinating, bad for swarms)
- Using her means you cannot field Skadi the Corrupting Heart, who is a stronger unit in most circumstances
- She has to be retreated and redeployed to use S2 multiple times, but her DP cost is high and her redeploy time (even with her E2 Talent) is pretty long
- S3 has high Initial SP and a long duration, but also a very long cooldown
+ Usual archetype strengths: Low DP cost, fast ASPD
+ Between his Talents and his S2, he’s great at holding a lane by himself
+ Gets critical hits from Talent 1
+ Both Talents give him extra survivability (an enemy ATK debuff from Talent 1, bonus DEF and Physical Dodge from Talent 2)
+ All three of his Skills can hit multiple enemies, helping to keep large numbers of weak enemies under control
+ In addition to offensive buffs, S2 reduces his DEF in exchange for HP regen; since Mountain has low DEF but high HP, this is a good trade for him
+ S3 has surprisingly high burst damage and Pushes enemies away—he can Push enemies into pits or just Push them away to interrupt enemy attacks
= Can switch between Block-1 (default) and Block-2 (using S2), with the advantages and disadvantages of each
- Usual archetype weaknesses—has trouble damaging high-DEF enemies and can be too squishy to duel enemies with really high DPS—but he suffers less from them than other members of his archetype
+ Has a longer attack range than any other currently existing ST Medic
+ Can summon Mon3tr, a fast-redeploying Block-3 bruiser of a unit
+ At E2, Mon3tr inflicts True damage and Stun on all nearby enemies when defeated
+ Skills have low SP costs
+ S1 makes Kal’tsit and Mon3tr very tanky for a short duration, with DEF increases for both and Physical Dodge for Kal’tsit
+ S2 turns Mon3tr into an AoE Guard and dramatically increases Kal’tsit’s healing speed for the duration
+ S3 gives Mon3tr a huge DEF buff and a decaying ATK buff and turns its attacks into True damage; currently, this is the best source of True damage in Arknights
= If Mon3tr is deployed outside of Kal’tsit’s attack range, it has 0 DEF (sometimes inconvenient, sometimes helpful if you’re specifically using its death explosion to Stun enemies)
- Kal’tsit herself has very low ATK and prioritizes healing herself and Mon3tr over any other ally, so she’s not a good Medic for healing purposes
- You have to deploy Kal’tsit before deploying Mon3tr, and both cost DP, so she can be a bit slow to get up and running. Also, both of them count toward the deploy limit, so she takes up 2 Operator spots.
- S2 and S3 cannot be used unless Mon3tr is deployed and they automatically end if Mon3tr dies; Kal’tsit will not even gain SP for these Skills unless Mon3tr is on the field
- If Mon3tr doesn’t kill at least one enemy during S3, it takes half its max HP as damage when the Skill ends
Quick Overview: 5★ Operators
+ Talent seals enemy special abilities, which is clutch against some midgame enemies like Defense Crushers or Infused Originium Slugs
+ Ground unit with ranged attacks; S2 turns her attacks into multi-target Arts damage
+ Becomes unexpectedly tanky if using S1
= Has to choose between maximizing survivability (S1) and DPS (S2)
- Many late-game enemies are immune to her Silence
- S2 triggers automatically and thus can’t be saved up for specific enemy waves
+ Has ranged attacks that can hit aerial enemies—very rare for a Defender
+ One of the few Normal Defenders with innate RES (thanks to her Talent)
+ Generates SP for adjacent allies when she is attacked
+ S1 is a powerful defensive tool, and S2 is a powerful offensive tool that deals Arts damage
- Has to choose between defense (S1) and offense (S2)
- S1 activates automatically and thus can’t be timed; S2 self-Stuns upon completion and thus can be dangerous
+ When her Talent and Skills combine at the right time, her damage potential is insane
+ One of the few physical damage Snipers who has a chance of punching through high-DEF targets
- Her damage is highly conditional and can be tricky to maximize reliably
- Does NOT prioritize flying targets
- High DP Cost, short attack range, and slightly slower Attack Speed than an Anti-Air Sniper
+ Usual archetype strengths: Block-2, attacks a number of enemies equal to her Block count, can be deployed on ground or ranged grids
+ Pushes enemies away; causes instant death if pushed into a hazard, changes enemy movement patterns, etc.
+ Slows enemies with her Skills, so it takes them longer to walk back into her range after they get Pushed away
+ Has passive Physical Dodge, making her an effective Physical damage sponge (melee enemies have an especially hard time with her because she Pushes them away)
- More expensive to level than lower-rarity Push Specialists, who can perform the primary role of Pushing just as well as she can in most cases
- Usefulness falls dramatically when there are no pits/ deathtraps on the map
- Is vastly outclassed by 6★ Push Specialist Weedy
+ Usual archetype strengths: Cheap DP cost, high base RES, Arts-based attacks, and a wide attack range
+ Buffs allies in her attack range with Shelter (take reduced damage) when they are low on HP
= Should soon have her Trait change to “Heals allies while Skills are active”; on the one hand, this is probably more useful than her low Arts DPS, but on the other hand, healing allies actively works against her Talent’s Shelter buff, which only triggers at low HP
- Usual archetype weaknesses: Terrible base HP, ATK, and DEF
- Skills have poor uptime
- The HP requirement on her Talent means that it isn’t very helpful if A) your units are usually at high health or B) enemy DPS is so high that the buff activates too late to help
- Her defensive role doesn’t suit the current, DPS-focused meta, and even if it did, there are other Operators with stronger defensive utility
+ Usual archetype strengths: Extremely high HP and ATK, recovers HP when attacking an enemy, ASPD increases as HP falls
+ S1 gives her Block-0, an ATK buff, and the ability to hit twice per attack for the duration
+ Giving herself Block-0 can allow her to avoid tough melee enemies that she doesn’t want to duel
+ At low HP (activating her Trait’s increased ASPD), S1’s double hits can output a lot of damage
+ S2 reduces her current HP (triggering her Talent), buffs her ATK/ DEF, and gives her one Shield charge to negate the next incoming attack
= Has Block-1 (typical of Enmity Guards)
= Generally has more survivability but less DPS than other Enmity Guards
= Skills are quick to charge, but also do not have very long durations
- Usual archetype weaknesses: Can't be healed directly (although regen does work) and has a high DP cost
- Defensive units have a harder time finding a niche in the current Arknights meta
- S1 can do a lot of damage, but because the damage is split over two hits, it’s not very good for killing high-DEF enemies
- Needs help from allies to keep enemies in her attack range during S1’s Block-0
Do you have enemies? Do you want those enemies to be filled with bullets? Then look no further than Exusiai, the apple-pie-obsessed angel who has more bullets than her gun knows what to do with. With her cheap DP cost and enormous DPS output, Exusiai absolutely terrorizes any content where enemies have low DEF.
As enemy DEF increases, Exusiai’s damage potential falls off sharply—and this is increasingly a problem as the game’s difficulty increases and enemies reach ever-higher DEF totals. Fortunately, her multiple-hitting attacks mean she benefits tremendously from ATK buffs, and ATK buffs are more common in Arknights than ever before. Any player who can field Sora, Warfarin, Heidi, or Aak (to name a few) can boost Exusiai to dizzying heights of damage potential that few other Snipers can reach.
I recommend pulling for Exusiai.
Skadi was the first 6* Operator released after launch, and the powercreep is catching up to her. Don’t think this makes her useless, however. This fishy assassin has always been good at dueling single targets, and that hasn’t changed. Her S2 combined with her E2 Talent gives her almost a “Fast-Redeploy Specialist” assassin feel, while her S3 increases her HP, ATK, and DEF to godlike levels for a long duration.
The problem is that several Operators who have been released since Skadi can do what she does but better, or with more utility thrown in on the side. In contrast, Skadi is pretty good at killing single targets—which is valuable—but she isn’t even one of the best options for this, and she doesn’t have much to offer beyond that role.
If you’re a big fan of Skadi, there is some hope on the horizon. Her upcoming module and its upgrades greatly enhance her role as a kind of “medium-deploy burst assassin,” and another upcoming update allows units to be used alongside their Alter versions. No longer competing with Skadi the Corrupting Heart is a big relief for vanilla Skadi, as is having more power in her most useful niche. These upgrades don’t make her a must-have, but they’re a decent power spike for her if you can wait for them to arrive.
I don’t recommend pulling for Skadi unless she is your waifu (in which case, more power to you).
Considering that Brawler Guards had been a long-running joke in the Arknights community, few people were expecting great things from Mountain when he came out. Mountain has smashed those expectations as thoroughly as he smashes skulls. Dueling, soloing, multi-target, Pushing… Mountain does it all.
Do you need an Operator to hold a lane solo? Mountain with S2. Do you need an Operator to duel a nasty Arts damage target? Mountain with S2. Do you need an Operator to grind through a horde of weak enemies quickly? Mountain with S2.
Do you need an Operator with Physical burst damage? Mountain with S3. Do you need an Operator to Push enemies from a ground tile? Mountain with S3. Do you have a big, slow enemy who could be juggled with some timely Pushing shenanigans? Mountain with S3.
I recommend pulling for Mountain.
Kal’tsit has been a fan favorite character for a long time, and there’s no shortage of Doctors who have been waiting for her to take the frontline role she's clearly capable of. And oh boy, she does not disappoint! In sync with her monstrous assistant Mon3tr, Kal’tsit can take any enemy formation—from a mob of small fry to a massive boss—and tear them up like junk mail. What’s that? A Medic should be “helping others”? Look, if you can’t take care of yourself, don’t expect Kal’tsit to do it for you.
If you’re expecting Kal’tsit to take care of healing needs on your team, you’ve got another think coming. Yes, Kal’tsit has an increased healing range compared to other ST Medics, but she also has surprisingly low base ATK and unusual targeting: she will always prioritize healing herself and Mon3tr over anybody else in her range. Kal’tsit is perfectly happy to heal off scratch damage on Mon3tr while the rest of her allies bleed out next to her.
If, on the other hand, you need somebody to drop a Block-3 ball of HP and DEF that shreds multiple targets (S2), breathes out True damage (S3), explodes when killed (Talent), and can be Fast-Redeployed at a ridiculously low cost, then Kal’tsit might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
I recommend pulling for Kal’tsit.
Lappland was one of the juggernauts of the meta on release, able to mix up her damage type and seal away a lot of annoying enemy gimmicks. The developers clearly decided this was too strong, because then there was a long period of time where just about every enemy that would have been worth Silencing had immunity to the ailment. This left Lappland with little to recommend her other than Arts damage on her S2, and since her S2 triggers automatically, she couldn’t even be relied upon for that.
Things are looking up for Lappland again, however. The “Stultifera Navis” event had a lot of gimmicks to juggle, and Silence was actually viable for locking out some of the most annoying ones. When Lappland can take advantage of her Silence, her usefulness jumps dramatically; with her main strength finally coming back in play for Stultifera Navis, there might be similar situations where she’ll be useful again in the future.
I recommend pulling for Lappland, but only if you keep in mind that lots of enemies will be immune to her Silence and still want her anyway.
Liskarm does not have time for your shenanigans. She’s got bullets in her pistol, lightning in her shield, and Arts Resistance in her blood, and you’ll only have time to see the first one if you’re getting in her way. A unique Defender with a ranged regular attack, great Skills for either survivability or Arts DPS, and passive SP generation for adjacent allies, Liskarm is definitely an Operator worth noticing.
Despite her dynamic power, Liskarm suffers from masochistic tendencies. Both of her Skills have the [Getting Hit] SP charge type, and her SP-recovery Talent also relies on getting hit. Her Skills also have fairly short duration and can take a while to charge due to the [Getting Hit] SP, even with her Talent to help out. In the worst-case scenario, Liskarm’s Skills won’t be ready until it’s too late for them to be useful. But when they come online at the right time, Liskarm accomplishes her job like a well-oiled machine. A well-oiled machine full of lightning bolts.
I don’t recommend pulling for Liskarm if you’re a beginner, because she can be tricky to use. I also don’t recommend pulling for Liskarm if you’ve already raised two or more strong Defenders. However, she’s worth pulling for if you understand her Skill interactions and need another Defender for your roster.
Provence excels at hunting down weakened opponents and making sure they never come back to bother you. Her S1 passively increases her damage the lower her target’s HP falls, and her S2 gives her a massive ATK boost but causes her to only target enemies who have less than 80% HP remaining. Her Talent gives her attacks a chance to crit, and the chance increases dramatically when her target is at point-blank range in front of her. If you can dam enemies in the square in front of Provence, her precise shots will decimate just about any target.
The main problem with Provence is that her DPS is very finicky. Enemies have to be positioned in the right place and be softened up by the right amount before Provence can really cut loose, and even then she still relies on RNG to activate her Talent for maximum damage. When everything is exactly to her liking, Provence punches through enemies like paper, but plenty of other units can pull off similar feats more reliably and with a lot less setup.
I don’t recommend pulling for Provence.
FEater is a Push Specialist, meaning that she’s primarily used for pushing enemies into pits or other lethal traps. However, FEater has some nifty abilities beyond that: she has innate Physical Dodge from her Talent, and she Slows enemies that she Pushes. Combined with her archetype’s Block-2, FEater can be a decent substitute Defender—she dodges her enemy’s attacks, shoves them away from her, and leaves them Slowed, making it harder for them to reach her before she charges up her next Push. Her Physical Dodge can also help her soak damage from ranged Physical enemies.
Don’t misunderstand: FEater is still a Push Specialist first and foremost. She’s most effective on maps with lethal pits, and she loses a lot of her usefulness on maps that don’t have any. Her additional perks can come in useful, especially on earlier maps. However, her fragility compared to a proper Defender Operator becomes increasingly apparent in harder content, and her Pushing utility can be easily matched by other Pushers like 4* Shaw or welfare Enforcer.
I don’t recommend pulling for FEater. Shaw should be able to satisfy most—maybe all—of your Pushing needs with lower investment costs.
Tsukinogi sounds pretty good on paper. She grants a defensive Shelter buff to low-HP allies and directly heals them while her Skills are active. Her S1 reveals Stealthed enemies over a wide area and grants allies Physical/ Arts Dodge that might save their lives. Her S2 improves her Shelter buff and regenerates HP to all units within her attack range, allowing her to heal units that “Cannot be healed by allies,” like Musha Guards or summoned minions.
Unfortunately, Tsukinogi has terrible stats, her Shelter buff is very weak, and her Skills have poor uptime. Her low stats hold back her healing potential, and her healing is counterintuitive to her Shelter Talent, which only activates when allies are low on health (although the Shelter effect is so small that it barely matters). In the end, Tsukinogi is unlikely to save any Operator that you couldn’t have saved just by deploying a Medic next to them instead.
At present, Tsukinogi’s biggest claim to fame is the extremely niche utility of revealing Stealthed enemies from a ranged deployment spot. However, there are usually better ways to handle Stealthed enemies (i.e., SilverAsh, Scene, or just Blocking them). Tsukinogi is only preferable in situations where you need to kill a Stealthed enemy and cannot deploy a ground unit anywhere close to them, but can deploy a ranged unit. These situations do happen… but not often, and usually such enemies will kill Tsukinogi before she can activate her S1 to reveal them.
I don’t recommend pulling for Tsukinogi.
Akafuyu is blind as a bat and probably drunk to boot… so clearly she’s perfectly suited for the battlefield, right?! How she even figures out where the enemy is, we’re not too sure, but little things like “logic” and “physics” won’t stop her from slicing and dicing all comers with her defensive Shinkage-ryu fighting style.
The key word there, unfortunately, is “defensive.” Akafuyu’s archetype isn’t really meant to be on the defensive, and it shows. Even with her focus on defense—namely her S2—she isn’t durable enough to stand toe-to-toe with tough targets, especially since her Trait prevents her from being directly healed by allies.
Even worse, her focus on defense means that she doesn’t do enough damage to shine as a DPS unit, either. S1 looks strong on paper, but the damage is split across two hits, so it’s not very good against high-DEF opponents. Furthermore, because she acquires Block-0 while using S1, she needs other Operators to keep targets in her range so she can keep attacking. In the end, Akafuyu is a defensive, team-reliant member of an archetype that is supposed to be offensive and self-sufficient, and it doesn’t work out very well for her.
I don’t recommend pulling for Akafuyu.