Standard Banner: Saileach & Saria
The new Standard Banner features the following Operators:
Should You Pull?
Could be worth considering for some players, but for most, probably not.
Saileach is both versatile and effective, but due to her high 6★ costs, the much-more-affordable 4★ Myrtle performs just as well (if not better) in most content other than the most high-end difficulty challenges (which most players won’t attempt). Saileach is primarily worthwhile for high-level players who are gearing up for max-level CC and similar challenges. The average player is unlikely to get enough value out of Saileach to warrant spending for her on this banner.
Saria reigns supreme as the premier support-oriented Guardian Defender, but she’s a pure support unit, making her less of a priority for newer or small-rostered Doctors in comparison to more coveted DPS units. Note that this is "less of a priority." She’s still an entirely broken unit who is well worth pulling for, but on this banner, you’re probably better off buying her from the Gold Cert shop if you can.
Any players that don’t have either of the two 6★s and are interested in maximizing their options for high-challenge content could consider pulling, since a 50% chance of getting a good 6★ is good odds.
As with all banners, a 5★ or higher Operator is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls. Should you pull for that? No. Broca, Asbestos, and Franka are cool units with fun niches, but they’re all a little too niche for their own good.
+ Usual archetype strength: Very high rate of DP generation with S1
+ E1 Talent buffs ally ASPD and debuffs enemy ASPD around her flag’s location
+ E2 Talent reduces the DP cost of the next Operator to be deployed after Saileach by 2 DP
+ S1 has the capacity for enormous DP generation
+ S2 moves her flag (and her E1 Talent aura) to an ally, also granting that ally bonus DEF and healing over time
+ S3 moves her flag (and her E1 Talent aura) to an enemy, dealing Physical damage and Stunning in an area; it also causes valuable Slow and Fragile effects around the flag for the duration and has a short cycle time
= Usual archetype trait: Can’t Block while her Skills are active
= S2/S3 still generate DP, but less than S1; if you want to use her most powerful buffs/ debuffs, you have to give up some DP gain
- Usual archetype weakness: Stops attacking while Skills are active, lower combat stats
- Her S1 requires more SP than Myrtle’s S1, so it takes her longer to start generating DP (important on some maps with very fast starts)
- Similarly, her S1 is identical to Elysium’s S1, but her DP cost is slightly higher, so she can actually be less efficient for DP generation than he is (made worse by how much rarer she is and therefore how she’s likely to have fewer Potential increases)
- S3 DP generation is rather poor compared to other Standard Bearer Skills
+ Extremely efficient and effective ground-deployed healer
+ Can Block-3 and can also take a hit (especially after her E1 Talent has increased her DEF)
+ E2 Talent grants SP to allies that Saria heals (they must actually recover HP, though; it doesn’t work if they’re already at full HP when she heals them)
+ S1 offers reliable, consistent healing to adjacent allies
+ S2 provides consistent healing over a wide AoE—perfect for countering poison mist
+ If you have any Arts damage at all, S3 is terrifyingly effective for increasing your team’s damage output (and it Slows enemies in the bargain)
- Has no damage mitigation on her Skills, so she can have trouble surviving enemy damage spikes
+ Usual archetype strengths: attacks a number of enemies equal to his Block count
+ An AoE Guard with easy access to Arts damage (both S1 and S2)
+ Increases his attack range and Slows enemies with S2
= Usual archetype caveat: he gains Block-3 when promoted to E2, but he has to be promoted to E2 before he really shines
= Skills have large potential ATK boosts but have to be M3’d before they become impressive
= S2 self-Stuns Broca upon completion, which can be advantageous or game-ruining
- Comparatively squishy for an AoE Guard because he lacks strong defensive options (he can get a small DEF boost from his Talent, but that’s about it)
- S2 has to be carefully timed, because it Stuns him after completion
+ Usual archetype strengths: Deals Arts damage when Skills are active
+ The ultimate anti-Arts Defender (Talent gives RES, Talent generates SP when hit by Arts attacks, and S1 grants a lot of survivability)
+ Good Skill uptime that becomes noticeably better if regularly activating her Talent at E2 (+3 SP for each Arts attack that hits her)
+ S2 turns her attacks into long-distance, splash-damage, Arts-attacking cannon fire, while also providing an ATK and DEF boost
- Not nearly as resistant to Physical damage as she is to Arts damage (S1, in particular, offers no physical damage mitigation whatsoever) although S2’s DEF buff does help with this
- Loses out on her bonus SP gain if she isn’t getting hit with Arts damage
+ E1 Talent gives her a chance to ignore enemy DEF, so she’s great against high-DEF enemies
+ Talent activation chance is greatly increased by Skill 2
- Skill 2 also lowers her DEF to 0, making it a double-edged sword (haha)
- Usually, Arts damage is an easier way to counter high-DEF enemies
Saileach might as well be two different characters, depending on whether you’re playing casually or for challenges. For casual players, she’s basically a more expensive Myrtle/ Elysion, able to generate about the same amount of DP for a higher initial cost. She brings several buffs and debuffs to the field, but their effects are small and outclassed by better buffers/ debuffers that are more dedicated to the task.
For challenge players, Saileach takes off like a rocket. When DP generation is limited and you need multiple Standard Bearers to get running, Saileach is ready to help. When deployment spots are limited, Saileach combines critical survival buffs or Fragile debuffs with DP generation, filling multiple important roles with one slot. Manipulation of her banner’s aura of ASPD manipulation can be the difference between life and death. The list goes on.
I don’t recommend pulling for Saileach unless you play Arknights for the challenge content, but if you do, she’s well worth the effort.
Saria doesn’t kill enemies in droves the way most broken Operators do. Instead, she’s probably one of the most powerful utility units in the game. She’s tanky enough to block all but the most powerful enemies, she grants SP to her allies when she heals them, and her S3 is an incredibly potent debuff that Slows incoming enemies and dramatically increases the Arts damage they take. Saria is the linchpin for all kinds of different strategies on all kinds of different stages, proving conclusively that direct DPS isn’t the only thing that matters in Arknights.
I definitely recommend pulling for or buying Saria.
Broca is a good Operator in a vacuum, but sadly, he tends to be overshadowed by other members of his archetype. AoE Guards tend to be some of the more powerful and versatile units in Arknights, in particular 6★ Blaze and 5★ Specter. Broca doesn’t have the outlandish DPS of Blaze or the death defiance of Specter, so he typically falls by the wayside in comparison.
That doesn’t mean he’s useless, however. This hunky husbando combines Block-3 (at E2) with multi-target attacks, easy access to Arts damage, and extended range, making him surprisingly effective. He’s particularly good for stages where Casters or ranged units are banned, as he’s a reliable source of Arts damage who is deployed on ground grids. Be careful with his S2, however, which self-Stuns once the duration is up and might allow enemies to leak past Broca.
If you’re going to invest in Broca, it’s important to realize that he’s not a cheap date. AoE Guards need to be promoted to E2 to become Block-3 units, and Broca in particular needs to M3 his Skills before his ATK buffs become particularly impressive.
I don’t recommend pulling for or buying Broca.
Asbestos is designed to make Arts damage enemies wish they had never been born. Her Talent increases her base RES and grants her SP when she gets hit by Arts damage, and her S1 is an effective Arts damage soak. Her S2 doesn’t have anything to do with resisting Arts, though. It just boils her enemies alive en masse.
When you’re up against a lot of Arts DPS enemies, Asbestos is an absolute ace in the hole. She’s one of the best Defenders to soak Arts damage, and her S2 gives her some noticeable offensive presence as well. However, there are a lot more Physical enemies than Arts ones, and Asbestos loses a lot of her luster when she isn’t benefiting from her RES or getting bonus SP from her Talent.
I don’t recommend pulling for Asbestos, but she may be worth raising if you get her. She’s situational, but every Doctor should have some kind of answer to Arts enemies.
Franka is a Dreadnought Guard who specializes in taking down high-DEF targets. Her Talent gives her a chance to ignore enemy DEF when attacking, and her Skill 2 greatly increases this Talent’s activation chance. Once that Vorpal Edge goes snicker-snack, heads are sure to roll.
In a vacuum, Franka is perfectly effective. The issue is that her job is usually done more easily by units who use Arts damage. If you invest in Franka, she can pull her weight, but it’s difficult to find a situation where she would be preferable to a Caster or an Arts Guard (especially today, in the Reign of Surtr).
I don’t recommend pulling for Franka.