Our yearly joint Mythic and Legendary banner has arrived — this time, Embla and Veronica join the fray! Both feature explosive and dynamic offensive abilities, but are they worth your orbs? Read on to find out.
Embla’s Value in Aether Raids
The elephant in the room is undeniably Embla, an absolute powerhouse Defense Mythic whose entire kit has left many wondering — what actually can she not do?
Of her many effects, though, her exclusive C skill, Severance, presents the greatest overall impact through the 【Feud】and【Undefended】debuffs it applies on any foes within three rows and columns of her. Any units caught with these effects become unable to receive any in-combat support during combat, nor are they able to have any armored allies with Save skills come in to save them. This comes as a staggering hit to a majority of defensive strategies on Aether Raids Offense during Light Season, where stacking supports and the exploit of Save skills run rampant — and given Severance’s wide range and nature as a visible debuff skill, her strengths can be appreciated by her entire team and comes as a great advantage to Defense teams who are able to capitalize on her offensive momentum. This is on top of her passive +5 HP and +5 Resistance boosts, ability to enable a seventh-slot in Defense, and Lift loss reductions by simply being slotted during Light/Dark Season.
Despite her overall utility, Embla’s own combat ability is extremely strong as well. Her Enclosing Claw comes with several benefits: this includes Guard and the defensive half of Null Follow-Up where enemy guaranteed follow-up effects are disabled, making it very safe to initiate foes as intended, as well as a Slaying effect, Spectrum +5 stat boost, and further in-combat debuffs to her foes to ensure she can take them down. Severance’s effects don’t stop only at applying the mentioned debuffs either, as it also grants Embla up to 40% damage reduction based on her Spd and constantly removes any visible debuffs she has as long as one opponent is within the same three row or column range. This, somehow, is not to mention her transformation bonuses as a beast, granting +1 movement — and now that Beast Agility is a thing, this is always active.
To put it much more concisely, both of Embla’s skills let her hit obscenely hard, eliminate many of the enemy mechanics that otherwise plague Player Phase units, and do so with heightened range while still drastically improving the quality of her team.
Relevance in Other Modes
Severance’s effects remain highly useful in the context of other competitive modes given the widespread use of Savior skills, though it may be a little finicky to wield in Summoner Duels due to how much more limited the range becomes in the bigger map sizes. Beyond that, she’s an effective damage dealer all the same, so anyone who wants to make Embla work outside of Aether Raids Defense shouldn’t have too much of a hard time.
Veronica’s Value in Arena
Somehow not an Ascended Hero, Veronica joins the ranks of Ninian, Caeda, Deirdre, and others in the new wave of Legendary Heroes with both the Pair Up ability and visible stat enhancements during Wind Season.
She comes as the textbook definition of a glass cannon, but boy is she good at it. Her exclusive weapon, Enclosing Dark, provides an excellent baseline through its partial Null Follow-Up (i.e. negation of effects that say “foe cannot make a follow-up attack”) and Desperation effects, ensuring she can consistently initiate without penalty as long as she’s faster. It also carries neat bonuses if her foe has nearby allies, potentially inflicting -8 Spd/Res during combat and flat-out denying their counterattack if they have at least two; this makes her, more than anything, a surprisingly safe attacker, especially since she can always rely on Desperation if the negation effect is bypassed. Veronica’s Enclosure Special only solidifies her consistency by neutralizing Guard and non-Special damage reduction effects permanently, making it difficult for otherwise strong tanks from receiving the full brunt of her damage.
Legendary Veronica certainly possesses strong value in the context of Arena given her natural skill at tankbusting, with her PRF skills allowing her to pierce through and punish most tanks. As long as she can initiate (which comes more easily through her five-tile range as a cavalry unit), she generally possesses the advantage against contemporary Wind Legendaries also, and even someone like Micaiah who otherwise specializes against both ranged and cavalry units can suffer as she – like all other Wind Legendaries – have no means of bypassing Veronica’s counterattack negation if in play. This is all wrapped in a neat little package by her having her BST permanently counted as 190 in Arena, making her scoring potential strong to boot.
Relevance in Other Modes
Veronica’s sheer excellence in dealing damage and breaking defensive walls knows no bounds, and cements her in a strong place both in Aether Raids Defense and Summoner Duels. In particular, perhaps taking inspiration from her patron deity, Veronica excels at neutralizing notorious Far Save tanks thanks to Enclosing Dark and Enclosure — even Ascended Fjorm, the benchmark for the archetype, finds herself quickly defeated despite her ability to break through Veronica’s counterattack negation. Overall, she’s just very good (and her art is pretty to boot!)
Banner Unit Overview
With all Legendary and Mythic banners, there are three units in focus on each color. As players have no control over which units they get of each color (beyond choosing what color to pull and the notable exception of the single guaranteed summon after 40 summons available to FEH pass subscribers), it is important to consider the value of all units within a color when deciding whether to pull.
The Red Pool
The red pool this time is filled by the two spotlight units, Embla and Veronica, as well as Legendary Nanna. An Earth Legendary Hero, Nanna is a sword cavalry with a hyper-offensive lean similar to the units she shares focus with, strongly emphasizing aggressive play. She offers the high stat value Atk/Spd Push 4 and Atk/Spd Menace abilities as inheritable skill.
The Blue Pool
The blue pool this time consists of Legendary Caeda, Legendary Deirdre, and Seiros. A Water Legendary Hero, Caeda is a highly versatile lance flier who shines in mixed-phase playstyles and shutting down specific movement types. Her main inheritance option of note is Distant Storm (of which she is the only holder). Legendary Deirdre corresponds to the Wind Season and shines as a strong source of magical damage with surprising durability via her Circlet of Balance’s Miracle effect. She features a strong assortment of inheritable skills in Still Water, Atk/Res Tempo, and Atk/Res Menace for fellow magic wielders. Seiros is an Anima Mythic Hero with the ability to unlock a seventh Defense slot, though her personal strengths lie in both dealing and receiving raw damage through sheer numbers. Her inheritance options are a tad dated, but Mirror Impact is still strong for more magical durability.
The Green Pool
The green pool this time consists of Ymir, Hel, and Dagr. The Life Dragon, Ymir’s main claim to fame lies in the stellar Drive Miracle effect she carries in her Everliving Domain; this offers a great safety leash to keep allies from being OHKO’d, though it pairs especially well with Vantage strategies. Ymir has Atk/Res Unity and A/R Near Trace as notable inheritable options. Dagr is an axe-wielding Light Mythic who introduced (and remains relevant due to) the Pathfinder effect in Skinfaxi, helping allies further extend their reach while being able to tear through more durable foes thanks to her large stat boosts and Sun-Twin Wing’s Null Follow-Up effect. She carries Atk/Spd Push 4 and Even Tempest for other aggressive units to inherit, though the former is pretty common. Hel is an axe flier Dark Mythic Hero who… at the time of writing, remains valuable largely to inherit Distant Counter. (Sorry to any Hel fan!)
The Colorless Pool
The colorless pool this time consists of Legendary Micaiah, Ascended Celica, and Bramimond. Another Wind Season Legendary, Micaiah is tome-wielding specialist against magical threats and armored/cavalry foes alike, with New Dawn and Prescience offering strong damage and survivability options. Her inheritable Fury 4 and Joint Dist. Guard, though generally niche, can prove welcome fodder options to select units. Although a fellow tome user, Ascended Celica is much more of an offensive juggernaut by merit of Soul of Zofia enabling consistent initiations, while Mila’s Testament supplements this consistency, ensures her survival against most foes, and grants more versatility than meets the eye at first glance. She carries Inf. Null Follow, an excellent inheritable skill that has gained more value given the release of Embla, in addition to Life and Death 4. Lastly, though a little dated, Bramimond is a Dark Mythic Hero defined by the decent combat ability granted by Void Tome and, more importantly, his ability to prevent foes from receiving in-combat support via Impenetrable Dark. His fodder isn’t quite that strong (with Atk/Def Push 4 being entirely dated by now), but Lull Atk/Res remains a solid inheritable B skill.
Should You Pull?
Each player will have different wants and needs, so it is impossible to make a recommendation that will suit everyone. However, we can broadly assess the value on each color, keeping in mind that statistically, players who summon on a color should expect to receive roughly the same number of each focus Hero on that color, though individual results may vary wildly from the average.
Banner Color Value Analysis
Red is, by and large, the best option, particularly for those interested in maximizing their output in competitive play. While her full impact has yet to be fully understood, Embla’s potential as one of the best units to-date is undeniable by merit of how many strategies she simply shuts down. Legendary Veronica and Nanna are not as over-centralizing, but both stand at the top of their respective archetype as offensive mage and sword cavaliers — the former proving deadly against the common Far Save meta, and the latter being wholly unique as the only unit capable of negating defensive Specials while carrying a ton of damage still.
Blue comes as one of the weaker options this time around (as the units range from okay to good, but not excellent), though it’s still not bad at all. Legendary Caeda and Deirdre are both among the new wave of Legendary Heroes (like Veronica), carrying the benefits of Pair-Up, visible stat boosts, and Duel all in one. Those invested in Arena, in particular, may find them of interest given their respective effective damage traits, though their value in higher echelons still requires merges (which are never certain). Seiros is a little dated among the current array of new Anima Mythics, but being able to unlock a seventh-slot is still vital and her combat is solid.
Green presents a pretty divisive group of units, largely due to the presence of Hel who (until she receives her inevitable Remix) offers minimal value outside of being a source of Distant Counter. On the other hand, Dagr is a welcome addition to Aether Raids Offense teams often simply for the extra slot she provides during Light Season, while still carrying a reasonable presence in aggressive strategies due to her statline and Pathfinder, and Ymir is a phenomenal support unit thanks to the Drive Miracle effect of Everliving Domain. That said, Dagr faces clear competition in her roles from Ullr and Ash, and Ymir is largely beneficial to a specific playstyle (i.e. those centered on landing OHKOs) and, moreover, a general pool unit — making the value of green depend largely on how much you find yourself wanting in their specific niches.
Colorless finishes up with a decent Legendary in Micaiah, okay Mythic in Bramimond, and phenomenal general pool unit in Ascended Celica. The main detriment to Bramimond and Micaiah’s value stems from the better alternatives available; the Hermit’s main niche in Impenetrable Dark is, for most intents and purposes, outdone by Embla who remains on the same banner, while Micaiah interestingly faces competition from herself in her base and Summer forms. Legendary Micaiah, though, still has a better place in Arena due to her stronger scoring potential and proves generally suited to dealing with current threats. Meanwhile, Ascended Celica is an absurdly powerful mage with stellar inheritable skills to boot. Those who lack said alternatives, really like any of the three, or find themselves allured to Celica’s capabilities and/or relevant fodder can find good value here.
Of course, there are many other factors worth taking into account when deciding to spend orbs, so please use your own discretion as always. The new units are undeniably powerful, but keep in mind that the Christmas and New Year banners are both fast-approaching — the former of which is often associated with strong change. So, as always, only you can decide if this banner is worth an orb :)