Standard Banner: Shining & Weedy
The new Standard Banner features the following Operators:
|6★|| Weedy - Specialist [Pusher / Push Stroker]
Shining - Medic [ST / Medic]
|5★|| Specter - Guard [AoE / Centurion]
Nightmare - Caster [ST / Core]
Lappland - Guard [Ranged / Lord]
- Based on previous patterns, it is likely but not 100% certain that the Operators for purchase in the Distinction store will be Weedy and Nightmare
- 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?
Shining is one of the less popular high-end Medics due to her purely defensive kit, which doesn’t fit into the current Arknights meta in a meaningful way. Weedy can be a potent tactical option in challenging content when fully raised, but lower-rarity options can usually fill her role in most situations. High-level players may be interested in buying Weedy from the Gold Certificate store, but most Doctors shouldn’t prioritize putting resources into this banner trying to pull her.
As with all banners, a 5★ or higher Operator is guaranteed in the first 10 rolls. Should you pull for that? Maybe, especially if you don’t have either Specter or Lappland. Specter remains one of the best 5★ units in Arknights and Lappland is still a good source of ranged multi-target Arts damage and one of the most consistent appliers of the Silence effect. Nightmare is the least appealing of the 5★ options by a long shot, but Specter and Lappland are good enough that it might be worth the risk, especially for newer players with less-developed rosters.
+ 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 holds multiple charges; each charge automatically generates a shield on an ally that increases DEF and absorbs a certain amount of damage (physical, Arts, or True 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
= 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 will not be as useful as Medics with offensive utility, i.e., Warfarin or Ptilopsis
- The charges of S2 are used automatically, so they can be used up against small fry before the big bosses start swinging
+ Excellent Push Specialist with a lot more potential than existing Push Specialists
+ Can push from two locations by deploying her Water Cannon
+ S1 Stuns targets who get Pushed
+ S2 is a permanent buff that allows her to push multiple targets from a distance
+ S3 does true damage based on how far enemies move; with the proper setup (lots of space, Water Cannon next to Weedy, Angelina S3 active) the amount of damage dealt is brain-melting
- Still loses some viability when there are no holes or hazards on the map, despite her DPS
- S3 needs space to deploy her Water Cannon next to her and long straightaways to Push enemies away for maximum damage
- The Water Cannon is not permanent; it disappears after a short time and must be redeployed, creating downtime and costing DP
+ Usual archetype strengths: Multi-target attacks that hit a number of enemies equal to Block count
+ One of the very few Operators who can escape death multiple times on a single deployment
+ Talent recovers her HP over time (very powerful combined with her S2)
+ 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 very high Initial SP (especially at M3), allowing her to use it as a heli-drop
= 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
+ Surprisingly durable when equipped with her S1; she gets Physical and Arts Dodge from her Talent and can heal herself when S1 is active
+ Can heal multiple allies within her attack range using her S1
+ S2 inflicts the unique Nightmare debuff, which reduces enemy movement speed and stacks with effects like Slow -- perfect for Slow-centric or 0-Block strategies
= The Nightmare debuff inflicts True damage on its victims based on how far they move; however, since the debuff also reduces movement speed, enemies don’t move as far while it’s active
- Niche abilities; rarely required to complete a stage
- Requires substantial investment to reach her full potential, which is asking a lot for such a niche Operator
- Long cooldown on S1 and automatic activation on S2
+ 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
Shining is the premier 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 for this reason. Don’t misunderstand, however: Shining’s damage mitigation can help your Operators compete above their weight class, and she’s still a strong Medic with high healing potential.
I don’t recommend pulling for Shining, but she might be worth raising if you pull her.
Weedy is a Push Specialist, and she Pushes harder than any other Specialist to date. For one thing, she knows better than to go it alone. From E1 onward, Weedy can deploy her Water Cannon that also Pushes enemies, albeit with lesser force. Weedy and the Water Cannon can Push in two places at once, but they work best as a team: when placed next to each other, they can activate the legendary Liquid Nitrogen Cannon in tandem, sending enemies flying to the other side of the map and melting them with tremendous True damage as they go.
Weedy is subject to the same basic limitations as other Push Specialists: Pushing is strongest on maps with instant-death pits and loses some of its luster otherwise. However, Weedy’s kit is so strong that you may not even notice this in most cases. She’s durable, she hits multiple targets, she can be deployed on ground or ranged grids, she Pushes with the force of a semi, and her damage potential is terrific, making her one heck of a complete package.
I recommend pulling for Weedy. She’s noticeably better than Shaw or FEater.
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, so taking any hit would force her off the field. Becoming Stunned gives her a chance to avoid melee damage so an ally Medic or her self-healing Talent can get her back into fighting shape instead.
You might be asking yourself, “Is Specter still good, considering units like Blaze, Mudrock, and Surtr can also escape death?” The answer is “yes.” Specter’s S2 is manually triggered and can be used multiple times per deployment, which gives her a degree of survival that no other currently existing unit can match. It’s pretty insane. Just like Specter.
I recommend pulling for Specter. She requires careful timing to use well, but the benefits are well worth the effort.
The dual-natured Gloria—codename Nightmare—is a bundle of contradictions, on and off the battlefield. Her Talent changes depending on her Skill, making her more durable if equipped with S1 and more dangerous if equipped with S2. Aside from her Talent, her Skills are so different that they completely change her role: S1 heals allies when she attacks for the duration, and S2 inflicts a unique Nightmare ailment that greatly slows enemy movement speed and does Pure damage as they move.
Nightmare looks pretty good on paper, but she’s a little too generalist for the amount of resources she demands. In particular, because she has to pick between her two Skills before entering a battle, she’s actually less versatile than she sounds. Her Skills are powerful but take a long time to charge, S2’s auto-trigger is inconvenient, and both Skills need to be at least M1 (preferably M3) to show their true power, which is an expensive prospect.
If you put the resources into her, Nightmare can actually be quite potent. However, few Doctors are likely to feel the return is worth the investment, especially in comparison to other “hybrid” Operators like Podenco.
I don’t recommend pulling for Nightmare.
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 Lappland. She’s still decent and she may come back into the meta at some point, but for now, there are better options.