Today we will be receiving our first limited unit of 2020, Cerise. She is an Aquarius Ranger with the ice element. The most outstanding part of her kit is the introduction of the new mechanic, Restrict, which makes enemy units inflicted unable to gain (or lose) Combat Readiness due to another unit’s skill. This mechanic alone can be used to shut down almost all existing iterations of cleave teams. Not only that, her S3 is also packed with the ability to decrease the duration of buffs by 1 turn (which can strip turn 1 immunity) and inflict Slow and we haven’t even covered half her kit yet. Before she was even released, SmileGate nerfed her skills and mechanics to ensure she wouldn’t shift the meta too much upon on release. We are looking at a very strong debuffer on the horizon.
The normal banner mechanics apply:
No other 5* Heroes can be pulled on his banner
121 pulls guarantees you a Cerise, regardless of the rates
Your actual chance to pull her before you reach the pity summon timer of 121 pulls is ABOUT 61.9% (this is no guarantee, just the odds of getting there in 120 summons or fewer)
There IS a rate-up Artifact on this banner - Guiding Light
That being said, let’s look at if Cerise is worth your Skystones.
Cerise is a limited ice ranger who primarily functions as a debuffer. Sporting a base speed of 122, she can be easily equipped by all players as a hard counter to almost all existing cleave teams in the meta since she has much higher base speed than all meta CR booster; as the main DPS of a cleave team will rely heavily on CR increase, which is blocked by restrict. Cerise’s S3 also brings a whole pack of other utilities including decrease buff duration, Slow, and invincibility for herself, which can guarantee her next turn to use her S2.
Cerise’s S2 is a good follow up skill after stripping turn 1 immunity, as it allows her to help continually locking down key heroes in an enemy team, such as key buffer or DPS, if your opponent has a single DPS.
Her S1 is very simple, as it just boosts her CR, helping her cycle her turns faster. But it’s not as if she would need more utility in an already packed skill set.
Cerise’s usage would most likely come from Arena and World Arena, where CR boost units thrive and players can spare a hero slot to hard counter an enemy team. Even in cases where opponents would opt to ban her in world arena, this allows players the room to bring other units that could otherwise pull a ban.
Outside of these highly competitive PvP settings, Cerise would see little use in Guild War, as she does not currently fit the aggressive meta of a guild war defense, nor does she bring a lot to the table against these defense teams outside of her immunity stripping, which could be huge in niche cases. In PvE, it is doubtful Cerise would be brought often to many teams as many bosses (Wyvern 11) are pre-programmed to be immune to restrict, preventing any shenanigans with Cerise.
Pros & Cons
Here’s a breakdown of reasons to pull or not pull for Cerise:
PROS (reasons to pull)
Hard Counter to cleave teams, which are rampant in Arena and World Arena
Very high base speed for an initiator (122)
CONS (reasons NOT to pull)
There are better choices against non-cleave teams as a debuffer
No off turn utility (If she misses, she does nothing!)
Demands a set of high end speed gear
In addition, there are the following things to consider:
She has been nerfed pre-release to prevent another unit from taking over the meta, like Seaside Bellona has (It is bad practiced in gacha game to nerf limited units)
She could be buffed should she prove to be underwhelming, it is up to SmileGate’s decision
You are not interested in Arena or World Arena, it is less likely that she will prove to be a game changer for you
Guiding Light Rate Up
Cerise’s Staff, Guiding Light, has a 35%~70% chance to grant stealth for 2 turns (activates every 2 turns) is a very interesting artifact as it grants rangers the stealth buff previously only available to thieves. This prevents them from being targetted by a single-hit and reduces the damage of an AoE attack at the cost of the buff.
While I do think this artifact has unique applications to fast off-DPS heroes such as Lidica and Faithless Lidica and definitely has high potential in the future, debuffers such as cerise are often slightly tankier through a hp% necklace and Cerise herself has a built in Invicibility, which overlaps for a turn.
For players who DO decide to pull Cerise, here are some recommendations:
Recommended Sets - Speed + Hit/Immunity
Substats - Speed > Effectiveness %
Save 9 Molagoras for her S2 & S3’s cooldown and effect chance
For Debuffers and Initiators, it is paramount for them to have as much speed as possible as outspeeding opponent initiators will grant players the initiative to the whole fight. After that, players can look to increase their Effectiveness % to improve consistency as many meta Soul Weavers will be rocking very high resistance. After the 2 most important stats, players can look to increase either survivability through being tanky or having a bit more damage to supplement the value of her high speed.
As for Artifacts, Cursed Compass is always a go-to to increase the consistency of the initiation. Outside of that, she can quite flexibly utilize a number of artifacts such as Song of Stars (to increase team DPS), Sashe Ithanes (to increase snowball potential of AoE DPS), or even Guiding Light (to further boost self survivability).
TL;DR, Cerise wants as high speed as possible, followed up effectiveness, then players can fit whatever they want into her stats.
Cerise is a debuffing initiator designed to hard counter cleave teams. She has a very loaded S2 and S3, but her cooldown turns are relatively weaker. While her usage seems limited in PvE, she is by far the fastest debuffing initiator and can combo well with many debuffing units and could allow for players more freedom to build a team without regard for turn 1 immunity.
All in all both Cerise and her artifact are limited. Even if they might not be blatantly overpowered as the previous set, they are both solid in their own right and could potentially be buffed. Players with enough resources should try to acquire them.