Arknights: Should You Pull? Standard Banner: Eunectes and Aak

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Standard Banner: Eunectes & Aak

The new Standard Banner features the following Operators:

Featured Operators:

Rarity Operator
6★ Eunectes - Duelist Defender
Aak - Sacrificial Specialist
5★ Kafka - Fast-Redeploy Specialist
Reed - DP-On-Kill Vanguard
Beeswax - Modal Caster
  • Based on previous patterns, it is likely but not 100% certain that the Operators for purchase in the Distinction store will be Aak and Reed
  • 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★
Test out your luck for this banner on our:[Standard Pool 48] Summon Simulator!

Should You Pull?


Eunectes and Aak both have fun tech options and relevant end-game roles, but neither are typically needed to clear high-end content. Even if the limited “Deep Drown Lament” banner hasn’t sucked up all your resources, this is not a good banner to chase.

As with all banners, a 5★ or higher Operator is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls. Should you pull for that? Again, no. Kafka and Beeswax are also fun tech options, but not vital enough to spend resources on while “Deep Drown Lament” is running. And sadly, Reed is arguably worse than lower-rarity options.

Quick Overview

Duelist Defender

+ VERY high base HP, ATK, and DEF

+ Talent increases her damage when her HP is over half and increases her defenses with the Shelter buff when her HP is under half

+ S2 is the longest-lasting Stun currently available in Arknights (up to 18 seconds at M3!) and also boasts a massive ATK boost

+ S3 is the perfect package: it grants a titanic ATK and DEF buff, regenerates HP, increases Eunectes’ Block by +2, and has one of the funnier animations in the game to boot

= S3 self-Stuns when its duration ends, which is a double-edged sword

- Archetype weaknesses: Block-1, high DP cost, can only recover SP while blocking at least one enemy

- Skills can have fairly long charge times, considering she only gains SP while blocking

Sacrificial Specialist

+ Functions as ranged Physical DPS while providing powerful buffs and (erratic) crowd control

+ Talent causes random useful effects when attacking (heals Aak, deals critical damage to target, Stuns target, or Slows target)

+ S2 and S3 buff Aak as well as the closest ally in front of Aak (two buffs for the price of one!)

+ S2: Powerful defensive buff

+ S3: Powerful offensive buff (a lot stronger than it sounds due to the ASPD increase)

+ Even if he kills an ally with S2 or S3, at least he still gets the buff.

= …wait, what??

- When he applies his S2 or S3 to an ally, he does it by SHOOTING THEM FIFTEEN TIMES, and a lot of Operators (especially ranged Operators) can’t actually survive this!

- The random nature of his Talent means you can’t depend on its effects

- Constantly loses HP as part of his Trait; his Talent can heal him, but you may still need a dedicated healer to keep him alive (and BE CAREFUL where you place that healer if Aak’s using S2 or S3!)

Fast-Redeploy Specialist

+ Usual archetype strengths: Good for stalling or assassinating key enemy targets (although she satisfies both roles in unconventional ways)

+ The first Fast-Redeploy Specialist to deal Arts damage with her Skills

= Her Talent makes her very safe from damage when she is first deployed, but also makes it harder to use her as an emergency blocker or bait

= Sleep can be a double-edged sword

= The strange range on S2 can be either very useful or extremely annoying

- Usual archetype weaknesses: Low base stats compared to many other Operators

DP-on-Kill Vanguard

+ High RES due to her Talent, which helps her survive Arts damage or assassinate enemy Casters

+ Doubles her DP gain with S2

= Deals Physical and Arts damage with S2; unfortunately, this also means her S2’s damage is reduced by both DEF and RES

- Typical Archetype weaknesses: Block-1, has to land a killing blow to earn DP

- DPS output is not particularly high compared to Bagpipe (at 6*) or Vigna (at 4*)

Modal Caster

+ Usual archetype strengths: Gains DEF +200% and RES +20 while Skills are not active, and attacks all enemies within range while Skills are active

+ Talent gives her HP regen, making her even more of a brick wall

+ S2 summons a Block-3 obelisk to a square within her range, absorbing damage and Stunning enemies upon creation

= Has faster ASPD than an AoE Caster and targets all units within her range rather than dealing splash damage, but cannot attack while her Skills aren’t active

- Usual archetype weaknesses: Loses her massive survivability bonuses when using her Skills, but can’t attack unless her Skills are active

- Limited duration of the S2 obelisk means it usually can’t replace a dedicated Blocker


Eunectes E2

Eunectes is a strange unit. What possible use could there be for a Defender who only has Block-1? However, if you take a look at her Skills, you’ll soon see where her value lies. An 18-second-long Stun on her S2? Virtual immortality, colossal DPS, and a mech-piloting parrot during her S3?! Sign me up!

Considering how strong Eunectes’ Skills are, it might be surprising that she’s not more widely used. The problem is not that Eunectes isn’t strong; it’s that her strength can be hard to leverage. First off, her DP cost is prohibitively high—between 29 and 33 DP, depending on her promotion rank. That’s a huge cost for a Block-1 unit who isn’t even that special unless her Skills are active.

This brings us to the next problem: Eunectes only charges SP while she’s Blocking an enemy. (Note that her Skills are NOT [Getting Hit] type. Her Trait prevents her from gaining SP unless she’s Blocking.) So you can’t just helidrop her and blow her powerful Skills on a boss immediately; you must place her well in advance and have her charge up on weaker enemies first. This also hurts Eunectes on any map where multiple enemies are too strong for her to survive Blocking them, especially with that DP cost—if you miscalculate and she dies, you’ll have to pay through the nose to put her back on the map again.

I don’t recommend pulling for Eunectes, although she can be fun to use.


Aak E2

Aak is a very powerful unit, but he’s also very difficult to use. His S2 and S3 grant enormous buffs, but both Skills also inflict 15 attacks at 500 ATK power on the poor ally receiving them. For this reason, Aak is something of a “win-more” button. He doesn’t buff weak Operators into being strong enough to compete; he buffs strong Operators so they become even stronger.

To maximize Aak’s power, it’s important to have sturdy DPS units or Operators that can increase the survivability of other units. Operators like Shining or Nian can help more fragile allies endure Aak’s assault, allowing him to work with a wider range of units in a wider range of situations.

It’s also worth remembering that Aak is a decent ranged DPS and crowd control unit in his own right, especially with S1. This comes in especially handy on Challenges or CC stages where Snipers are banned but you still have a bunch of drones to kill, or when Supporters are banned but you still need crowd control.

I don’t recommend pulling for Aak unless you like to min-max your buff usage or have ridiculous, off-the-wall strategies in mind for him.


Kafka E2

Kafka is probably the most unusual Fast-Redeploy Specialist currently in Arknights. Like other Fast-Redeploys, her Skills activate automatically on deployment, and while they’re active she has Block-0 and the Camouflage buff. So unlike most Fast-Redeploys, she can’t be dropped down to do emergency blocking or to intercept a purple Faust shot.

So what does she do? Her S1 puts nearby enemies to Sleep and deals damage to them when they wake up. Meanwhile, her S2 inflicts multiple hits of Arts damage to enemies on the tile two spaces away from her over several seconds.

These Skills allow Kafka to do some bizarre tricks that other Fast-Redeploys usually can’t. She can’t Block, but she can stall multiple enemies at a time by putting them to Sleep. She can’t duel, but she can snipe down a stationary enemy at a distance—and since she can do it from a ground tile, she can get at targets that are sitting well out of the reach of ranged units.

Yet in the end, Kafka’s real charm point is how low maintenance she is. Between Block-0 and Camouflage, she’s usually very safe during her Skills, and she doesn’t need any investment to pull her weight—her Sleep is equally effective whether she’s E0 level 1 or E2 level 80. Yes, Sleep can be a double-edged sword and there are other units that can deal ranged Arts damage from a ground tile, but few units come out of the gacha as ready to go as Kafka does. It’s a weird niche, but hey—Kafka’s a weird girl.

I don’t recommend pulling for Kafka, although she can be fun to use.


Reed E2

Reed was overshadowed pretty quickly after her release by 6* DP-on-Kill Vanguard Bagpipe, who is well-known to be ridiculously powerful. This is understandable, but is it fair? Well, Reed has terrific RES due to her Talent, so she’s good for dueling Arts-DPS enemies, and her S2 causes her to gain an extra DP every time she gets a kill, making her DP recovery potential unmatched among her Archetype. Gaining 2 DP per kill (or 3, if Zima is also on the field!) is a massive boon at the start of a map.

Unfortunately, Reed’s big downside is her DPS, which isn’t very high at all. In fact, it’s fairly comparable to 4* DP-on-Kill Vigna. Considering that Bagpipe is a loose cannon who has more DPS than she knows what to do with, and considering that Vigna is cheaper to deploy, level, and increase in Potential, it’s difficult to rationalize raising Reed instead. After all, her high DP recovery potential doesn’t matter much if she doesn’t get the kills she needs to activate it.

I don’t recommend pulling for Reed, especially if you have Bagpipe.


Beeswax E2

Beeswax debuted the Modal Caster archetype, an unusual unit that switches back and forth between two “modes” depending on Skill usage. When Beeswax does not have a Skill active, she does not attack (similar to Angelina), but she gains positively staggering defensive buffs that make her almost as sturdy as a high-tier Defender Operator. When she does activate a Skill, she loses those defensive bonuses, but she begins unleashing AoE shockwaves that inflict Arts damage on all enemies within her range. Her S2 has the added benefit of building a massive Block-3 obelisk on the field, Stunning nearby enemies and halting their advance.

Modal Casters are very strange units that can be hard to use well. Since they’re ranged units, they can’t Block, so they’re best used to absorb the attacks of ranged enemies. However, since they lose their defensive bonuses when they activate a Skill, absorbing ranged attacks often means the Modal Caster must play passively for a large part of the map. In many cases, using a Defender and an intelligent deployment order can be more effective than a Modal Caster.

On the other hand, some maps have awkward layouts that force your ranged Operators to be put in harm’s way. In these cases, Beeswax can shrug off the damage and give you breathing space to focus on other problems. Beeswax’s Skills also charge fairly quickly and can be used to keep waves of weak enemies under control—and don’t forget about her S2 obelisk, which is a great decoy target for burst-damage-happy opponents (i.e., Lancers).

I don’t recommend pulling for Beeswax, but she can be worth raising if you pull her.

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About the Author(s)

A 4★ Supporter Operator with the "Writer" tag. Loves creative writing, all forms of editing, video game design, and badgers.

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