Standard Banner: Ch'en & Shining
The new Standard Banner features the following Operators:
|5★|| Blue Poison
- Shining is available for purchase in the Distinction store for 180 Certificates. Specter can be purchased for 45.
- 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?
Do you really want any of these Operators (in other words, are they your waifu)? Then yes.
Do you need an AoE Guard, a ST Medic, an Anti-Air Sniper, or an AoE Sniper? Then yes.
Otherwise, probably not.
This is a very strong banner; all of the Operators on it are very good. If you’re a new player, this is an outstanding banner to pull on. (Amusingly, Ch’en is probably the least essential unit on this banner; it’s very rare to need a Dualstrike Guard.)
However, none of these Operators are so powerful in their given niche that you must have them over other possible options. If you don’t need more of the archetypes on this banner, or if you’re saving for upcoming event banners instead, you can safely avoid pulling.
Regardless of your thoughts on this banner, it might still be wise to do Headhunt x1 until you pull a 5★ or higher Operator, since one is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls.
+ Talent 1 regularly generates SP for allies with [Attacking Enemy] and [Getting Hit] SP charge types
+ Talent 2 passively increases Ch’en’s ATK and DEF and also grants her Physical Dodge
+ S2 is a strong AoE burst damage strike that does both Arts and Physical damage and can hit aerial enemies as well. At M3, it has full SP on deploy, allowing Ch’en to use it immediately upon deployment (an awesome assassination or “oh crap” button)
+ S3 is great for assassinating multiple weak enemies or one strong enemy
= As is typical for the archetype, Ch’en’s attacks hit twice, but she has lower ATK to compensate; this makes her strong against low-DEF enemies but is a drawback against high-DEF enemies
= Although her attacks hit twice, they still only charge 1 SP for her [Attacking Enemy] Skills
= Her burst damage potential is very high thanks to her Skills, but her sustained damage is less impressive
- Even with her Talent, her [Attacking Enemy] Skills can take a while to charge
+ Very powerful Medic who mitigates incoming damage for her allies, especially physical damage
+ Talent 1 increases the DEF of all allies within her range
+ Talent 2 increases her ASPD, allowing her to heal more quickly
+ S2 automatically generates shields on allies that increase DEF and absorb a certain amount of damage (physical, Arts, or Pure damage are all absorbed)
+ S3 increases Shining’s healing power and massively increases the DEF of all allies in her range, making allies almost invincible to all but the hardest-hitting physical enemies
= S2 holds multiple charges, so it can charge up in between waves, but it is used automatically, so the charges can be used up against small fry before the big bosses start swinging
= S3 has a very high SP cost, but also very high Initial SP and a long duration
- Her utility is purely defensive; if you don’t need her protection to survive or can’t survive incoming damage even with her, then Shining may not be as useful as Medics with offensive utility, i.e., Warfarin or Ptilopsis
+ Usual archetype strengths: low DP cost, fast ASPD, and prioritizes aerial enemies
+ Both of her Skills deal high damage to multiple targets; she’s good at killing single targets as well as small groups
+ S1 charges extremely quickly at M3, dealing high damage to multiple targets at a machine-gun pace
+ S2 causes her attacks to strike multiple targets multiple times, absolutely destroying groups of enemies
= The Arts damage from her Talent gives her a little extra oomph against high-DEF enemies, but she still loses so much damage on her attack that it doesn’t count for much
- Extremely squishy, so placing her can be difficult on some maps, especially ones with ranged enemies or automatic crossbows
+ Usual archetype strengths: multi-target attacks that hit a number of enemies equal to Block count
+ Talent recovers her HP over time (very powerful combined with her S2)
+ High HP and ATK
+ S2 gives her a massive ATK buff and prevents her HP from falling below 1, allowing her to absorb an infinite amount of damage for the duration
+ S2 has fairly high Initial SP (especially at M3), allowing her to use it as a panic button soon after deployment if necessary
= S2 self-Stuns her when it wears off; this can allow enemies to walk right past her, but it can also save her life by giving her Talent (or an allied healer) time to recover her HP
- Usual archetype weakness: Must be E2’d to increase her Block count (and thus her number of targeted enemies) to 3
- S2 has a short duration, so it must be timed very carefully, especially because of the self-Stun afterwards
+ Usual archetype strengths: high ATK, long attack range, AoE splash attacks
+ Huge AoE damage potential, between the crit chance of her Talent and the burst from her S1
+ With ATK buffs and some RNG, she can take out even high-DEF enemies
+ Offers some team utility with the flat DEF debuff from her S2
- Usual archetype weaknesses: Very slow ASPD, high DP cost
- Slow ASPD also slows down her S1, which charges [When Attacking]
- Can be a little RNG dependent (she needs her Talent to trigger when her S1 is up to maximize her DPS)
Ch’en is a very popular character, and she’s also very fun to use. Her regular attacks strike twice, she generates SP for all allies who have [When Attacking] or [Getting Hit] Skills, and her Skills are big, flashy strikes that dish out massive burst damage to your unwitting foes. In particular, she’s known for her S2—at full mastery, her S2 has maximum SP as soon as Ch’en is deployed, allowing her to nuke multiple targets at a moment’s notice.
In certain team compositions and against certain enemy compositions, Ch’en can be wildly powerful. However, the double-hit nature of her attacks is a disadvantage against high-DEF enemies, and her sustained DPS isn’t as impressive as the burst from her Skills. Early in Arknights, Ch’en is an overwhelming force, but in high-level content, it can be trickier to unleash her full potential.
I don’t recommend pulling for Ch’en, but she’s well worth raising if you pull her.
Shining is the ultimate defensive Medic, combining her healing powers with an aura of bonus DEF and Skills that dramatically increase the lifespan of your Operators. (And some killer E2 art, let's be real.) Her S2 generates barriers that can absorb any kind of damage that comes your way, and her S3 grants bonus healing power to Shining and a huge DEF buff to all allies in her range. She’s an interesting counterpoint to Nightingale, the RES-focused AoE Medic, and her presence on the field can help your Operators survive challenges that would otherwise spell their doom.
Shining isn’t always the most popular of Medics because her utility is purely defensive. Some of the most powerful enemies in Arknights can’t be tanked even with Shining’s help, and if Shining’s defensive powers aren’t being utilized, she’s not much better than other, lower-rarity Medics. Many Doctors prefer the offensive buffs of Warfarin or the added range of Silence and her Medical Drone for this reason. Don’t misunderstand, however: Shining’s damage mitigation can help your Operators punch above their weight class, and she’s an extremely powerful Medic with terrific healing potential.
I recommend pulling for or buying Shining if you don’t have a strong ST Medic already.
Blue Poison sprays arrows and corrosive venom everywhere she goes, striking multiple targets with multiple arrows that deal multiple ticks of Arts damage long after the initial arrow damage has been dealt. With her quick ASPD and fast-charging S1, Blue Poison is a constant fountain of toxins, rapidly wearing down her opponents from the inside out.
The main thing holding Blue Poison back is her shockingly bad durability. Even for a Sniper, Blue Poison is tissue-paper-fragile, with one of the lowest HP totals in Arknights and very unimpressive DEF to back it up. This can make it hard to deploy her on some stages, especially where there are ranged enemies or environmental hazards putting her at risk. (Curse you, Annihilation 3 crossbows!)
I recommend pulling for Blue Poison if you don’t have two or more strong Anti-Air Snipers already.
Specter is the Undying Operator, able to laugh in the face of death for several seconds at a time with the boundless power of her S2. Once her S2 is activated, Specter can withstand any amount of damage without falling below 1 HP, cackling madly as she drives her buzzsaw-on-a-stick into the soft, squishy bodies of her enemies. Did we also mention the massive, bloody ATK buff she gets? We might have forgotten amidst the carnage.
The tricky part is, once the duration of her S2 expires, Specter becomes Stunned for several seconds. Poor timing of Specter’s S2 can result in Specter falling unconscious just in time to let several enemies past her. However, there’s a silver lining to the self-Stun as well—if you used Specter’s S2 to absorb a lot of damage, she’s probably at 1 HP, and taking any hit at the end of the Skill would force her off the field. Becoming Stunned gives her a chance to avoid melee damage so her Talent—which regenerates her HP over time—or an ally can get her back into fighting shape.
I recommend pulling for or buying Specter. She requires careful timing to use well, but the benefits are well worth the effort.
Meteorite is either an AoE Sniper or an intercontinental ballistic missile. Looking at her performance in Arknights, it's a little hard to tell which.
AoE Snipers are typically useful for two things: their huge attack range, which allows them to attack from grids that other Snipers wouldn’t, and their splash damage attacks, which allow them to counter huge swarms of weak enemies that could otherwise overrun your Operators. Often, AoE Snipers aren’t that great in other situations because of their slow ASPD, which greatly reduces their overall DPS.
It would seem nobody sent that memo to Meteorite, who combines a crit-damage Talent and an explosively powerful S1 to drop gigantic nukes into the enemy team every few attacks. She is still held back by her slow ASPD, and the randomness of her Talent activation can be annoying, but once Meteorite gets going, your enemies—or what’s left of them—are going to feel it.
I recommend pulling for Meteorite if you don’t have a strong AoE Sniper already.