Since the beginning of Fire Emblem Heroes, maybe even before, people have always pondered the possibility of collaboration characters coming to the game. Well, buckle your seatbelts viewers for a world-first exclusive GamePress™ in-depth look at what might be the start of a new dawn for FEH, one filled with many mystical characters from various games.
A new upcoming banner, “Heroes of the Farthest Realms”, was leaked to GamePress via Skype, from a supposed IS employee who went by the name of Toat Ali Leh’jit. They provided us with a first hand look at the heroes and their skills for this banner. It will be a 4 person banner and will even have a free Tempest Trials unit! Below you will find all the juicy details that were uncovered.
The first Hero is literally money. In both character and in what Intelligent Systems will get a lot of. Zhongli hails from MiHoYo’s hit Breath of the Wild clone Genshin Simpact and is quite possibly one of the most hyped husbandos in gacha history. Like seriously, his character demo has a whopping 16.6 million views on YouTube, over 7 million more than the demo for his favourite wallet. He also made everyone a bit sad on his release, half of which were because his default attacks didn’t one hit kill Lawachurls, and the other half which failed to roll him and got his biggest fangirl instead.
Despite a rough launch in Genshin, Zhongli is now one of the universally strongest support characters, mainly thanks to his elemental skill which has enough effects to rival recent FEH personal weapons. He also makes everyone swoon when he crosses his arms and lobs a giant meatball at his foes, the act of which is so badass that every enemy becomes petrified in awe for a few seconds. He’s also voiced by Keith Silverstein. I wonder if Askr has a cloud district anywhere?
Zhongli’s arrival in FEH could not be more well timed. The lands of Aether Raids are ripe with chaos and Zhongli is ready to bring all the order he can muster to this hellish landscape.
In gameplay, Zhongli will be a Lance Infantry unit. His set of skills in Genshin has been translated as close as possible and I must say, I think they did a pretty good job at representing him. We’re talking a true 1.3 Zhongli here, none of that launch Zhongli business. Sadly, he doesn’t have Distant Counter, so he’s trash. However, he’s still very good.
The most interesting thing about Zhongli is that he brings with him an entirely new and exciting gameplay mechanic: Shields! This new mechanic will allow heroes to gain secondary health bars that must be depleted before the main HP can be damaged. Naturally there is no way Intelligent Systems will find a way to milk this mechanic for all its worth. As of right now, Zhongli is the only way to access shields, but keep an eye out for Legendary Azura’s skill upgrade. The GamePress elite spies in IS HQ have been telling me some pretty spicy plans for Gray Waves II.
Zhongli’s kit plays primarily around his max HP stat. He comes with a whopping base 60 HP, brought up to 80 HP by his weapon. Maybe if Vortex Vanquisher actually gave this much of a HP boost in Genshin, people would actually want to get it instead of just using Staff of Homa or Crescent Pike. The strength of Jade Shield, and the power of Planet Befall and Dominance of Earth, are all based on his HP. So you better make sure to roll multiple Zhongli or use Trait Fruits to ensure a HP boon.
Besides that, his stats are fairly average and not too outstanding. Vortex Vanquisher is a nifty personal weapon that gets stronger with each enemy he defeats, this power being doubled with a shield active. Planet Befall has him do his signature meatball drop and his chibi looks hella cool doing it I assure you. The AoE and Petrification after combat will certainly have some interesting uses in Aether Raids and hard challenge maps. His A slot, Dominance of Earth, will be immediately replaced by everyone for literally HP+5 from their nearest Arthur. Def/Res Enforce is a B slot only he can really use effectively for now, but it’ll have more use in the next banner when someone will already power creep Zhongli in shield capabilities.
In a team, Zhongli will make for an excellent shield support. Because obviously, did you think he’d be a DPS? With his loaded Jade Shield and Def/Res Enforce, Zhongli can majorly enhance the capabilities of any supertank. One still has to be careful though, Def/Res Enforce gives visible defensive bonuses, so a little panic can send you spiralling. For those that do want to build him as a supertank, the option is still thankfully there. With Distant Counter, he can be perfectly capable of guiding order to the battlefield. He pairs particularly well with shove supports like Mordecai, though just be careful to not let Childe see his golden boy toy getting pushed around.
Overall, does Zhongli’s capabilities even matter? The dude is a literal walking money printer. He’s about to break the bank on his second gacha. Is this just the second step in Zhongli’s plan to overtake the entire husbando scene? Is he gonna invade Fate/Grand Order next? Maybe even take over Dragalia Lost? Oh no we might need to stop this gorgeous man before he takes control of the entire husbandoverse!!... Actually… Maybe we’ll just allow it. The Dude is worth it after all. Truly worth his weight in gold, which is both everything and nothing.
“I’m Yazawa Nico and I’ll put a smile in your heart! Remember, I’m Nico-Ni and I Nico-love you!”
Here to sing and dance and slaughter her enemies in a rain of blood is Nico Yazawa, the idol who may or may not already be stalking Tsubasa and Kiria in her attempts to be the #1 idol in Askr… by any means necessary.
Here to break Nico-Nico-Kneecaps and steal Nico-Nico-Hearts, this refresher unit is more than meets the Nico-Nico-Eyes.
It’s Nico’s Nico-Nico Dream to be your most glamorous and favorite unit and she has no qualms about taking out the competition to do so - even if that competition is her own teammate! Her signature dance, Idol’s Song, refreshes her allies' turn while also granting them incredible buffs of Atk/Spd+6 and grants them the unique “Firesweep” buff, preventing them from being counterattacked. She’s so good at protecting and encouraging her team, because her goal is inspiring everyone and being adored, naturally!
-what’s that? Her dance also deals 20 damage to its target?
...well now that Firesweep buff makes a bit more sense.
When she’s not going after her own teammates with a baseball bat for daring to outshine her, Nico also introduces her signature Special, I’m The Star Here, which is the game’s first Special that can be charged with Sing or Dance. This grants Nico the ability to refresh her teammate, cripple them, and then refresh herself (more important, clearly) to move on and attack her enemies with her staggeringly-offensive kit and statline.
Coming in with a whopping 42 Attack and a Superboon, Nico’s prf, Nico Ni Your Heart further increases her Attack by 5 while making her Special more easily accessible. If that’s not enough, her Special inflicts her with Isolation, preventing her from refreshing your party anymore - she’s done being cute, now she is ready for ᴍᴜʀᴅᴇʀ.
Fortunately, Isolation counts as a penalty, which activates her new inheritable A-Slot, Smiling Blow. This skill increases her Attack by 10 and removes any buffs to her Attack, so long as she has some sort of debuff or penalty currently active.
“So, Nico attacks her own allies under the guise of performing for them, just to move ahead of them and steal all the spotlight for herself?”
Y-yes. But isn’t she soooo cute while doing it?
Tying all of this together of course is her new inheritable B slot, Nimble Riposte, which is the long-awaited sequel to the Quick Riposte line. Through this, Nico can double her opponents despite her extremely low Speed, so long as her HP is above a certain threshold. This all ties together with the rest of her kit, making Nico a formidable unit on either phase and an idol that you’ll definitely want in your barracks.
Just… make sure to +10 her, or else your barracks might be suspiciously missing a few of your faves next time you log in.
Wait, are you looking at her inheritable skills? Are you thinking of trying to roll for her, only to slaughter her to make your other units better?
I hope you keep your door locked at night, Summoner...
The fan-favorite Dependable Brother from Dragalia Lost has miraculously found his way from Alberia to the world of Askr as a demote Infantry Staff unit! Being summoned in the middle of another inevitably failed run of Legend Ciella, Lowen has been freed from the coddling of his sister, Louise, and can instead be coddled by the 600+ heroes in FEH.
At first glance, Lowen’s statline makes him seem like an absolutely worthless unit, with his 3 Attack being completely unacceptable for healing or combat and making Merlinus look like a bodybuilder. Dare not underestimate this literal 8-year-old child, however, as his other stats and skills allow him to crush the meta beneath his 3-foot tall stature, just as he has done not once, but twice in his home game. With 50 HP and 35 Def/Res, Lowen is ready to shield his allies as a strong frontliner while they commit unspeakable war crimes, because everyone in Fire Emblem is a war criminal, right? His 45 Speed also exceeds Mareeta and Freyja, making them bow before him as he slices through their Speed-based damage reduction.
Lowen’s base stats are only amplified by Gentle Winds, his personal Staff. Granting him an additional 13 HP/Spd/Def/Res, Lowen becomes the strongest tank in the game, accurate to his Dragalia performance and fitting for his intimidating and towering appearance. Additionally, Gentle Winds also neutralizes any Penalty on and restores 20 HP to himself and allies within 4 spaces, ensuring that any player’s copy-paste turn 1 Return trap from [insert FEHtuber] functions just how they want it to.
Not everyone has a Sara lying around to be foddered, but thankfully, Lowen’s personal Assist, Winds, Heal Us! is a direct powercreep of Return. This is because its recovery potency scales not on Lowen’s Attack, but his HP (130% of it, to be exact), allowing him to pop 81-HP heals (before IVs or investment) and Reposition his target ally.
Because Lowen loves nothing more than going the extra mile to keep his friends safe, he also has a personal Special in Winds, Protect Us!, which grants Atk/Spd/Def/Res +7, Unity, and Miracle to himself and all allies for 1 turn after healing. The combination of +7 to all, increased strength from these buffs being panicked through the Unity effect, and potentially infinite Miracle activations through any in-combat or post-combat healing allows Lowen and his allies to become practically immortal and impossible to survive a round of combat against, with the sole Skill saving the enemy team from complete domination being Fatal Smoke (and perhaps weapons and effects that prevent counterattacks). While this Special has 1 cooldown, Gentle Winds conveniently has a Slaying effect (-1 Special cooldown), allowing this Special to effectively have 0 cooldown and be ready at all times. That sure is convenient; you wonder if the creator of Lowen’s kit had any bias towards him? Perish the thought; Intelligent Systems is exemplary at balancing their units, with superstar demote healers such as Mercedes, Brady, Natasha, and Linhardt all bringing new and unique roles and skills to the table. While they pale in comparison to Louise’s Dependable Brother, I’m sure they had their spotlight as dominant Arena and Aether Raids units at some point in time.
Up until now, we’ve not addressed Lowen’s 3 Attack and 0 Might Gentle Winds, which would make him deal 0 damage to Starting Stratum enemies, let alone the monstrosities he would see in Aether Raids and Arena. However, friendships and belief in himself are Lowen’s powers, and he sure has a lot of those. As such, he can convert 50% of the sum of his HP/Def/Res to deal true damage to enemies during combat via his personal B slot, Growing Up; defense is the best offense, as I’m sure every sports coach has told you at least 100 times. This means that Lowen deals 79 true damage per hit, but surely a max-investment Wary Fighter Arden can survive a round of combat, right? Well…if Lowen’s HP is ≥ 1%, he neutralizes effects that prevent his follow-up attacks. While this HP threshold is quite strict and maintaining it can be an arduous task, the player will be rewarded for their immense skill by inflicting 158 true damage in 1 round of combat, snuffing the candles of life from their enemies with ease.
Being the pure soul that he is, Lowen has decided to grace FEH with a new inheritable C slot: Doublebuff. At the start of Lowen’s turn, he grants Bonus Doubler to himself and allies within 21 rows and 17 columns centered on him. While this range is very restricting, fulfilling the condition can effectively grant Lowen and allies a total of +14 Atk/Spd/Def/Res whenever he activates Winds, Protect Us!. Sure, this C slot is inheritable and will probably be just as meta as Doublebuffs in Dragalia, but do you really need any healer aside from Lowen?
Because Lowen is just that good, he can perform exceptionally well in every mode, whether it be a PvE mode, Coliseum mode, or Aether Raids. His base kit is perfectly suited for raising heck (as Kiragi and Lowen would put it) in Aether Raids Defense, and all he needs to do the same in Aether Raids Offense is Close Counter or Close Foil in his A slot. Given that Lowen deserves the world and more, the least you could do is give him an A slot that lets him counterattack against melee units. ^^
Lowen’s introduction into FEH has plunged the meta into chaos, and Lowen has done so with wholesome voice lines and a radiant smile on his face. With surveys showing that 77.6% of current Aether Raids Offense and Defense parties have at least 1 Lowen, he has become a staple and borderline necessity in the current metagame. While he says that he will try not to bog you down, you can be assured that Lowen will carry any team you put him on. After all, just his cheerfulness and positive attitude could energize and inspire his team to victory. Lowen is just the best.
“Just where have I stumbled into now?” Miyamoto Musashi, the wandering swordsman from the Early Edo period, widely regarded as the strongest swordsman in Japan’s history! But wait… This Musashi is a woman? What a surprise! Clearly turning the famed Musashi into a woman was the perfect way to waifu bait the world and take it by storm, and now Musashi has stumbled into the wonderful world of Fire Emblem Heroes bringing her famed Niten Ichi-ryuu fighting style. Step aside Altina, there’s a new dual wielding swordswoman in town!
Musashi takes the stage as an infantry sword unit, and at first you must be thinking to yourself “Oh dear Naga, ANOTHER sword infantry? What could she possibly bring to the table?” Well… Uh… Hm… Anyways! Moving onward to explain Musashi’s stats, Musashi true to her Buster nature in Fate/Grind Order, Musashi has one of the highest Attack stats in the game with a base value of 45 Attack. She even has an Attack Super Asset to push her to a whopping 49 base Attack! Musashi believes that two are better than one, almost like how two bowls of udon are better than just one bowl, so she fights with two blades. This dual wielding comes into play with her personal weapon, Niten Ichi-ryuu which allows Musashi to attack twice even if the foe initiates combat against her, and as an added bonus it even accelerates Musashi’s special cooldown by 1.
Musashi is all about striking hard where the sun doesn’t shine, and when it’s time to strike with all she’s got, she brings her Noble Phantasm Kurikara Divine Blade as a Special, boosting her damage by 20% of her Attack while also ignoring 30% of the opponent’s defenses. Thanks to Niten Ichi-ryuu’s cooldown acceleration, Musashi can activate her Special practically right away. This would be amazing of course if it weren’t for that cursed Guard being everywhere for some ungodly reason. Intelligent Systems, why is Guard amazing everywhere EXCEPT on the Skill that introduced this mechanic!?
Musashi brings some fancy Skills to the table, her first personal Skill is her A Slot Fifth Force, giving her a further boost to her Attack by 6 during combat while also giving her a free follow-up attack as well as a Null Follow-Up effect, preventing her opponent from landing a follow-up attack on her through Skills that grant them while also preventing Musashi’s own follow-up attack from being stopped. This can effectively make Musashi a safe Player Phase unit even if the foe is able to survive as they will not be able to use follow-up Skills against her to secure their own such as the ever common Quick Riposte 2. Musashi’s second Personal Skill in the B Slot is her Heavenly Eye which nullifies the foe’s bonuses to their Attack and Defense during combat similar to Lull Atk/Def while also giving her 5 true damage on her attacks if her Attack stat is higher than her opponent’s, essentially combining some pieces from Lull Atk/Def and Heavy Blade 4. Finally, Musashi brings an inheritable Skill in the form of Emptiness 3 in her C Slot. If the unit carrying this Skill is adjacent to an ally, the unit’s penalties to their Attack and Defense stats will be ignored and -6 Attack will be inflicted on the opponent during combat. Musashi has said herself that she prefers pretty boys, so be sure to keep her adjacent to Dimitri and Claude to keep her content!
So that’s Miyamoto Musashi, a new infantry sword that will likely be powercrept in five seconds because of COURSE power creep is something that Intelligent Systems is concerned about. But let’s be real for a moment, you’re not rolling for Musashi because she’s a good unit, rather it’s all about the fact that she won you over with her wonderful personality, isn’t that right? Good luck rolling for Musashi however, staying true to Fate GO’s gacha rates that are considered sacred and beloved by the entire community, the 5 Star rate for rolling Musashi is set to 1% rather than the usual 3% to make it feel more satisfying to roll Musashi despite all odds. Feeling lucky? No? Well surely you don’t mind spending your paycheck for the best girl!
From the continent of Orsterra is none other than Atlasdam’s very own Professor Cyrus Albright! Cyrus Albright, from the hit game Final Fantasy Tactics except it’s not called Final Fantasy Tactics but rather it’s called Octopath Traveler and it’s not a tactics game but rather it’s a JRPG, is but one of the most brilliant minds in JRPG history. Moreover, it is not in his personality to hoard all of his knowledge to himself. Rather, if possible, he would like to share it with everyone around him, so that they may learn as he once did and continues to do. After all, knowledge is power and it truly shows in his implementation into Fire Emblem Heroes.
As Cyrus has innate Fire, Ice, and Lightning magic, it’s only appropriate that he would be implemented as a blue tome unit in Fire Emblem Heroes. Likewise, as Cyrus only has two legs, it’s only natural that he would be an infantry unit. It’s rather befitting of Intelligent Systems to stick true to the source material as they’re known to do.
Likewise, Cyrus comes into the game with a fantastic statline. With a base ATK stat of 41, Cyrus is more than capable of one-rounding many of his opponents, especially when paired with his weapon Alephan’s Enlightenment. Alephan’s Enlightenment is yet another faithfully adapted skill that performs a similar role in FEH. For the first three turns, Cyrus is able to deal damage based on the special Astra, and if for some reason he is unable to defeat his foe on the first hit, he’ll be able to make his second attack before the foe can counterattack as long as he initiated combat. This is similar to Valentian Catria’s Astra Blade where she can deal damage based on the special Glimmer and Lewyn’s Forseti where he can make all of his attacks before the foe can counterattack if he too initiated combat. However, unlike Cyrus, Catria has access to all of the busted Flier skills and Lewyn is green. As a result, Cyrus finds himself in hot water now that he has to compete with sword fliers and green tomes. However, he’s not entirely dead on arrival.
Cyrus also comes with the PRF Assist skill Study Foe. Study Foe is effectively a ruse that stops foes in their tracks. This can be especially handy on something such as Aether Raids Defense on a rally trap team. However, depending on the season in question, there’s a good possibility that you’ll run into an isolation unit. If that happens to be the case, just feel free to ignore it and rally anyway.
And we can’t forget about his special Unparalleled Focus. Unparalleled Focus is a 2 CD special that deals twenty flat damage, similar to Blue Flame. However, what makes this special eSPECIALly good is the fact that the cooldown cannot be delayed by any means. This means skills such as Pulse Smoke and Even Pulse Tie are unable to prevent Cyrus from getting his special off during the start of combat. Likewise, because he’s an infantry unit, he can pair his special up with Time’s Pulse and Infantry Pulse if you want it immediately. Of course, if you don’t have the skills to invest into him or you pour milk into your bowl before the cereal, you can stick with his base kit and have him attempt to double his foes instead.
And then you have Heavy Blade 4 and Boost. Heavy Blade 4 is rather standard and works well with his 17 MT PRF and high base ATK. Meanwhile, Boost acts as a mini variant of Alephan’s Enlightenment where for each turn up to the first three turns, Cyrus is able to get an additional percentage of damage depending on the turn number. The higher the turn number, the more damage it increases by. However, Valentian Catria has that built into her weapon, which means she has a free B Passive to work with. That being said, it’s not as if infantry units have many B Passives to work with, so this gives Cyrus a niche to call his own. Boost can also work well with Turn 1 Return traps in Aether Raids Defense as he’ll be able to use Boost before turn 4. However, if you don’t have Return, then you can always wait for a turn 3 Brave Ike plonk and use Boost to its max potential.
So, while Cyrus Albright may be competing with the likes of sword fliers and green tomes, he is still one of the strongest blue tome infantry mages we have seen yet. Although, it does make sense that Cyrus isn’t nearly as good as Valentian Catria and Lewyn since he’s the free unit and free units are never good. Except for Ashnard.
So, when are these coming out?...
Yep, that is no doubt the burning question on everyone’s mind. Well, as it turns out, we do have those details as well. We are very happy to reveal that the “Heroes of the Farthest Realms” banner will be launching on…
...Oh, hang on a second.
...Ok, I’m afraid I’ve just been contacted by another IS employee, Dephin Itlee Reeul, to let me know that this entire collaboration has just been cancelled. Turns out that Intelligent Systems tried to pay for the rights to all these characters via in-game badges and arena medals, which as we all know are effectively worthless. What a shame.
Ah well, I guess we can all at least look at what could’ve been. In fact, let’s run a little poll, why not. So I’m curious readers, which of the collab characters were you most excited for? Leave your vote below!
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