Standard Banner: Ceobe & Skadi
The new Standard Banner features the following Operators:
|6★|| Ceobe - Caster [ST / Core]
Skadi - Guard [Duelist / Dreadnought]
|5★|| Skyfire - Caster [AoE / Splash]
Tsukinogi - Buffer [Supporter / Abjurer]
La Pluma - Guard [Reaper]
- Based on previous patterns, it is likely but not 100% certain that the Operators for purchase in the Distinction store will be Skadi and Tsukinogi
- 6★ Rate-Ups have a 50% chance of appearing when pulling a 6★
- 5★ Rate-Ups have a 50% chance of appearing when pulling a 5★
Should You Pull?
The notorious “Moody Blue” Skadi, while a popular Operator, is one that has been thoroughly outclassed by this point in the game (most recently by limited Dreadnought Guard Nearl the Radiant Knight, maybe you’ve heard of her). On top of that, she can’t be used in the same squad as her Alter, Skadi the Corrupting Heart, who is a very strong Operator. Ceobe has fared better, occupying a better niche as a bosskiller, but is still outclassed by other Arts damage options. Neither is worth pulling for at this current point in time for reasons other than waifu status.
As with all banners, a 5★ or higher Operator is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls. Should you pull for that? No. While La Pluma is excellent, Skyfire and Tsukinogi are even more notorious than Skadi, making the gamble too risky to be worthwhile.
+ E1 Talent combined with S2 (or S3 in very rare circumstances) make her an effective boss-killer
+ Can change her target prioritization by using different Skills
+ Deals physical damage with S3, allowing her to pinch-hit against high-RES low-DEF enemies
+ S2 and S3 have surprisingly long durations
= Can be a better boss-killer and has more variable utility than Eyjafjalla, but lacks Eyja’s AoE damage
= E2 Talent is a nice damage boost, but the positioning requirements can’t always be met easily
- Has to choose between damage (S2) and utility (S1 or S3)
- S3 has a high SP cost
+ 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
+ Typical Archetype strengths: AoE Arts damage, high base ATK
+ Can Stun enemies with her S2, making her valuable in stall teams
- Typical Archetype weaknesses: high DP cost, low attack speed
- S2 does a lot of damage per hit, but it actually does less DPS than S1 due to dramatically slowing her already slow attack speed
+ 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: Wide attack range for a melee unit (1x3); true AoE attacks; recovers HP for every enemy she hits, up to a cap of her Block count
+ A great cornerstone unit and lane holder, especially for her rarity
+ Talent increases her ASPD for every enemy she kills, up to a cap, and is usually easy to stack thanks to her strong AoE attacks
+ S1 causes her next attack to deal two stronger hits, healing her twice
+ S2 reduces her attack interval (so she can heal herself faster) and increases her ATK; her ATK is further increased against enemies with less than half HP
= Has Block-2, which is fine for actually Blocking but does limit her ability to heal herself
- Usual archetype weaknesses: Can't be healed directly (although regen does work)
- Mediocre base ATK, so she can have some trouble with high-DEF enemies
Ceobe is based on the three-headed Cerberus, and her flexible fighting style reflects this multi-directional inspiration. She is probably best known for her Thresher Talent, which deals bonus damage to her targets based on their DEF. Combined with the giant ASPD boost she gets from her S2, Ceobe can smear high-DEF elites and bosses across the nearest wall without breaking a sweat. On the other head—er, hand—her S3 deals Physical damage, giving her a way to work around high-RES enemies that other Casters might struggle to defeat.
Despite her considerable power, Ceobe is still outshone by other Arts DPS options, in particular the Queen of Casters Eyjafjalla. Eyjafjalla is better than Ceobe in general-purpose situations and for AoE damage, but let’s be clear, though: this is because Eyjafjalla is just that good, not because Ceobe is bad.
I don’t recommend pulling for or buying Ceobe, but she can be worth raising if you pull her.
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 particular, Skadi’s own alternate version—Skadi the Corrupting Heart—limits Skadi as a unit (since you can only field one of the two versions). “Skalter” has phenomenal team buffs, access to True damage, and an S3 that turns everyone around her into a boss-killer. In contrast, vanilla Skadi is good at killing single targets—which is valuable—but doesn’t have much to offer beyond that.
I don’t recommend pulling for Skadi or buying her in the Shop, especially if you have Skalter.
Poor Skyfire is still a famously undertuned Operator. She isn’t useless by any means, but she’s something of a noob trap. When you read the description of her S2, she sounds like a harbinger of mass destruction due to its gargantuan ATK boost (+240% damage at max level!) It looks like it when you use it, too: a huge flaming meteor tears out of the sky and crushes things into a fine paste! It feels amazing.
Unfortunately, what you may not notice at first is that Skyfire’s S2 actually has lower DPS than her S1 (which is just a vanilla ATK buff and not a particularly good one). How is this possible? The problem is how the Skill slows down Skyfire’s already-slow ASPD. At such a slow speed, Skyfire’s S2 isn’t actually very good for damage. It still has use for stalling strategies due to the Stun it causes, but even there the slow ASPD can be a big inconvenience.
I don’t recommend pulling for Skyfire.
Tsukinogi sounds pretty good on paper. She’s a cheap source of Arts damage, she increases the survivability of her allies, and she’s a wellspring of uncommon utility. She can reveal Stealthed enemies, her S1 gives a Physical/ Arts Dodge buff, and her S2 grants HP regeneration rather than direct healing. This distinction allows her to heal Enmity Operators and other allies with the “Cannot be directly healed by allies” Trait, which can be convenient.
Tsukinogi’s various buffs have a small effect individually, so you’d expect them to add up over time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work out that way. Her Talent is hard to trigger safely, and her Skills have high SP costs and short durations. Since her buffs have generally weak effects even while active, Tsukinogi is rarely able to save her allies from dying. A purely defensive unit like Tsukinogi has a hard time fitting into the current Arknights meta anyway—the fact that she has so much trouble making an impact even in the best-case scenario makes it even harder.
I don’t recommend pulling for Tsukinogi.
La Pluma is a quiet, scatterbrained kind of girl, and she’s not always the best at solving problems. This may be because her first reaction is chopping problems in half with her scythe. Having grown up in the middle of a war, La Pluma knows how to hold off large numbers of opponents all by herself, and she does it as Rhodes Island’s first Reaper Guard—mowing down foes by the bushel and draining their life force to heal herself as she does so.
In contrast to some of the very complicated Operators that Arknights has released (I mean, just look how long the Skill text is for Nearl the Radiant Knight!) La Pluma is refreshingly simple. Enemies walk into her range and she hits them. Hitting them gives her health so she can keep hitting them. If she kills them, she gets better at hitting the next batch.
The great part is, her simplicity doesn’t come at the sacrifice of power. La Pluma is really good at hitting things. She doesn’t come with fancy bells and whistles, and she doesn’t need to. Plunk her down in just about any lane and go make a sandwich. La Pluma’s got you covered.
I recommend pulling for La Pluma… just not on this banner, since the other options are so lackluster.