Standard Banner: Schwarz & Shining
The new Standard Banner features the following Operators:
|6★|| Schwarz - Close-Range Sniper
Shining - ST Medic
|5★|| FEater - Pusher Specialist
Nearl - Healing Defender
Astesia - Arts Guard
- Based on previous patterns, it is likely but not 100% certain that the Operators for purchase in the Distinction store will be Shining and Nearl.
- 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?
If you know that you really want one of these units, then yes. Otherwise, probably not.
This is a fine, if unexciting, Standard banner. All of the Operators involved are very usable; however, none of them are gamebreakers. The Forget Me Not banner is lurking in the near future, and it has more powerful Operators on it (as well as a limited Operator), so most Doctors would probably prefer to save for that instead. If you’re interested in one of these Operators, though, this isn’t a bad place to pull for them.
Even if you’re saving for Forget Me Not, you may want to do Headhunt x1 on this banner until you pull a 5★ or higher Operator, since one is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls.
+ High ATK, critical damage, and large multipliers give her incredible burst DPS
+ Buffs the ATK of allied Snipers while deployed
+ From E1 onward, she debuffs the DEF of her target when she triggers a critical hit
+ One of the best Snipers for killing mid- to high-DEF enemies
- High DP cost
- Her normal attack range and S3 attack range can be a little tricky to position
+ Strong healer who mitigates incoming physical damage for her allies
+ 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
+ As a melee Arts unit, she’s good for Challenge stages and the Contingency Contract event
+ Very survivable; both her Skills increase her DEF, and she has innate RES
+ Turns into an AoE Arts Guard while her S2 is active
- Typical Arts Guard weaknesses: mediocre base ATK and unimpressive ATK multipliers on her Skills
- Can be inefficient on stages where her niche of melee Arts damage isn’t important
- Vastly outclassed by 6-star Arts Guard Surtr, who is widely available as a Support unit at present
+ Ground-deployed healer with a lot of healing power
+ E2 Talent increases the direct healing received by all allies (as long as Nearl is deployed)
- Low HP and no DEF-boosting Skills, so she is not a good damage soak
- Inferior to 6-star Healing Defender Saria in basically every way
+ Pushes enemies away, causing instant death if pushed into a hazard, changing enemy movement, etc.
+ Slows enemies with her Skills, so it takes them longer to walk back into her range
+ Can Block-2 and attack as many enemies as she’s blocking, like a mini-AoE Guard
+ Can be deployed on ground or ranged grids
+ Has passive Physical Dodge, making her an effective physical damage sponge (melee enemies have an especially hard time with her because she pushes them away)
- More expensive to level than lower-rarity Push Specialists, who can perform the primary role of Pushing just as well as she can in most cases
- Usefulness falls dramatically when there are no pits/ deathtraps on the map
- Is vastly outclassed by 6-star Push Specialist Weedy
Schwarz is a straight-up delete button for anything stupid enough to walk in front of her. Her Talent gives her a chance to crit and reduce her target’s DEF, and the chance becomes 100% while her S3 is active. Her S3 also gives a massive buff to ATK—considering how high Schwarz’s base ATK is, this turns each critical hit into an armor-piercing grenade. The burst damage Schwarz outputs during her S3 is phenomenal, and she’s no slouch the rest of the time either.
That being said, Schwarz tends to be a bit limited in her application. Yes, she generally deletes any target during her S3, but so do units like SilverAsh and Eyjafjalla. Schwarz does add a little team utility with her Sniper ATK buff and the DEF debuff she applies with her critical hits, but she’s first and foremost a DPS unit, and there are other 6* units who can fill her role fairly easily. (We're looking at you, Surtr.)
I don’t recommend pulling for Schwarz, but she’s 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. Her S2 generates barriers that can absorb any kind of damage that comes your way, and her S3 grants 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 opponents 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.
Astesia fills her elegant rapier with the power of the stars, striking down her enemies with melee Arts damage attacks rather than physical. Melee Arts damage is not usually necessary in regular stages (although it is often still helpful), but it’s a godsend in CC challenges that ban Casters or Supporters. Astesia is particularly good for this niche thanks to her sturdy base defenses and her powerful Skills (her S2 basically turns her into an AoE Guard).
I don’t recommend pulling for Astesia, because Surtr exists. (Yep, we're looking at you, Surtr. Again.)
Nearl is a Defender who moonlights as a Medic. In contrast to Saria, Nearl is pretty squishy, and in contrast to her sister Blemishine, Nearl has basically nonexistent damage output. She pretty much focuses entirely on the “Healing” part of “Healing Defender.” Not only does she directly heal adjacent allies, but her E2 Talent increases the healing received by all allies on the battlefield as long as she’s deployed.
I don’t recommend pulling for Nearl. (But at least this time it’s not because of Surtr!)
FEater is a Shift Specialist. Specifically, she’s a Pusher, meaning that she’s primarily used for pushing enemies into pits or other lethal traps. However, FEater has some nifty abilities beyond that: she has natural Physical Dodge from her Talent, and she Slows enemies that she Pushes. Combined with her archetype’s Block-2, FEater is a surprisingly good substitute Defender—she dodges her enemy’s attacks, shoves them away from her, and leaves them Slowed, making it harder for them to reach her before she charges up her next Push. Her Physical Dodge also makes her a good damage soak against ranged physical enemies.
Don’t misunderstand: FEater is still a Push Specialist first and foremost. She’s most effective on maps with lethal pits, and she loses a lot of her usefulness on maps that don’t have any. However, her additional perks can come in pretty useful on some challenge maps, giving her an additional dimension that not all Shift Specialists can boast.
I don’t recommend pulling for FEater. She might be worth investing in if you don’t have Weedy, but even then, Shaw should be able to satisfy most of your Pushing needs instead.