Standard Banner: Mountain & SilverAsh
The new Standard Banner features the following Operators:
|6★|| Mountain - Brawler Guard
SilverAsh - Ranged Guard
|5★|| Tsukinogi - Buffer Supporter
Lappland - Ranged Guard
Leizi - Chain Caster
- Based on previous patterns, it is likely but not 100% certain that the Operators for purchase in the Distinction store will be SilverAsh and Lappland
- 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?
Mountain and SilverAsh are two of the best Guards in Arknights, Mountain for his ability to single-handedly hold a lane and SilverAsh for his AoE schwing-schwing burst damage. If you are gunning for Mountain, though, he will *likely* have a solo rate-up banner if/when Mansfield Break reruns, so you are better off gunning for him there. For SilverAsh, Standard Pool Banner odds are as good as it will get, but since he is in the shop, it is much better to purchase him with certs. With a much more powerful limited banner likely coming up around the corner, players will want to be saving their pull currency as much as possible, so the only real reason to pull on this banner is if you personally want SilverAsh more than the limited banner Operators AND you don't have enough certs to buy him, but this will not be the case for most players. Even if you want to go this route, it might be best to wait for the next Feature banner to be announced, since you might be able to pull on THAT banner to get you enough certs to buy SilverAsh.
As for the 5 stars, the once-famous Lappland has fallen in popularity now that most strong enemies are immune to her Silence, and Leizi and Tsukinogi have been undertuned ever since they were released.
Considering the limited banner likely coming soon, this Standard banner just isn’t a good use of your resources. It’s probably not worth pulling on this banner at all, even though the 6★ Operators are so strong and a 5★ or higher Operator is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls.
+ 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
+ Usual advantages of archetype: can be deployed on ground squares, yet attack at range and hit aerial units
+ Reduces the redeploy time of allied Operators
+ Reveals invisible enemies within his attack range
+ S2 makes him into a serviceable off-tank
+ S3 (also known as schwing-schwing) unleashes incredible multi-target burst damage that absolutely deletes waves
- Long cooldown on S3… that’s about it
+ Has “chain lightning” attacks that can jump up to 4 tiles if enemies are arranged correctly
+ Talent and innate crowd-control means she works well with no-Block strategies
= Better than a ST Caster when enemies are close together, and better than an AoE Caster when enemies are spread out, but worse when the opposite is true
= Should be getting a buff to the bounce range of her lightning in the near future
- High DP cost
- Low base ATK and slow ASPD greatly reduces her potential DPS
- Pretty bad uptime on S2
- “Chain” range on her attacks is only 1 grid, so intentionally utilizing the bounces can be difficult
+ 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
+ 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
- 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
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 some 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 highly recommend pulling for Mountain.
SilverAsh is renowned as one of the best Operators in Arknights, and with good reason. He is incredibly versatile, combining ranged physical attacks with an S2 that helps him soak damage, an S3 that nukes everything within range, an anti-stealth Talent just because, and another Talent that reduces redeployment time for your other units.
Even though there are other Operators infringing on SilverAsh’s niche at this point, the sheer power of the “schwing schwing” S3 has to be respected. It’s one of the most effective delete buttons in Arknights, and it’s absolutely worth getting, using, and M3ing.
I highly recommend pulling for SilverAsh or buying him in the Certificate shop.
Leizi is a Chain Caster, an archetype whose attacks bounce from enemy to enemy, dancing across the field and inflicting damage all the way. Leizi adds a Slow effect to her chain lightning strikes and bonus damage from her Talent, which increases her ATK when hitting unblocked enemies. Between her Talent and her Trait’s Slow effect, Leizi is a natural fit for a no-Block strategy, and her special chaining attacks give her a unique reach as compared to other Caster Operators.
“Unique” does describe Leizi, but “unique” does not mean “good.” Chain Casters fall between a ST Caster and an AoE Caster, and unfortunately this means they suffer the downsides of both. Her ATK is lower than an AoE Caster, her ASPD is slower than a ST Caster, and her attacks become less powerful every time they bounce (except when her S2 is active), so her DPS is very low. Her Talent’s ATK buff against unblocked enemies does not make up the difference, especially with her low base ATK, and she has no utility other than the brief Slow from her Trait.
On some stages, where steady streams of enemies are funneling through long chokepoints, Leizi’s attacks can bounce up the enemy ranks and give her pretty impressive range. Otherwise, it’s too easy for the chain lightning to end its chain prematurely, and the overall low damage output means it’s rarely worth the effort anyway.
I don’t recommend pulling for Leizi.
Lappland used to be one of the gems of the Ranged Guard archetype, and let’s be clear: she’s still a strong Operator in her own right, especially for new players. She deals Arts damage at range to multiple targets, ground or air, and she seals the special abilities of any enemy she hits. She’s an excellent counter to armored drones, and she is invaluable in the early- and mid-game where she can shut down irritating enemies like Infused Originium Slugs (aka, the exploding spiders).
However, the current meta of Arknights has left Lappland behind a bit. An increasing number of nasty enemies are immune to her Silence, and her Arts damage S2 triggers automatically, so you can’t save it for when you need it. Lappland also has a lot more competition than she used to: 4★ Arene can also do multi-target Arts damage on demand, while 6★ Thorns far outpaces her DPS with his S3. Lappland really needs her Silence to be competitive, and without it, she’s kind of lost her appeal.
I don’t really recommend pulling for (or buying) Lappland. She may come back into the meta at some point, but for now, there are better options.
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, she has a Physical/ Arts Dodge buff, and she 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, there’s one big problem with that: Tsukinogi’s buffs have terrible uptime. 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.