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Should You Pull - Gifts of Winter Edition

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Introduction

Good evening and welcome to “Should You Pull?”, a series that analyzes new banners to give summoners an idea of the contents of these banners, how new units and skills relate to gameplay and meta, percentage odds of getting each individual unit, and of course, an idea of whether or not you should use your hard-earned orbs on them.

With this series, we hope to accurately represent the pros and cons of each new banner, as well as offering our own opinions on how worthwhile the banner may be. Everyone has different priorities and different affinities for certain characters or installments of the Fire Emblem franchise, however, so our word is not law- we simply aim to give our readers a complete picture of what each part of a new banner entails. With that in mind, let's get started!

The Odds

Percentile Blue Green Colorless
0% 5 5 5
5% 13 10 13
10% 19 18 19
15% 28 24 27
20% 36 33 33
25% 43 39 42
30% 53 47 52
35% 62 55 62
40% 73 63 73
45% 84 72 83
50% 96 82 93
55% 109 92 106
60% 124 104 120
65% 140 118 134
70% 159 132 151
75% 180 149 172
80% 205 171 194
85% 237 201 225
90% 282 243 268
95% 363 310 342
100% 1414 1079 991

In this banner, Fae is green, Ephraim is blue, and Eirika is colorless. The above numbers are calculated as your odds of getting one of the specific focuses - with no color sharing in the banner, your odds increase. Unlike most of the seasonal banners, this is a 3 unit banner, which meant that the rates are comparatively better.

More information on how these numbers are calculated can be found here, in our probability guide.

Fae: Holiday Dear

The almighty and beloved chicken returns as an armored dragon to complete the trio of armored young dragons. Fae is a defensive specialist, with 33 Defense and an astounding 41 Resistance. Fae is also our fourth unit with 180 base stat total, preceded by Legendary Tiki, Halloween Myrrh and most recently, Surtr.

Compared with the 3 star Sheena

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
0 +5 +1 -3 +8

Compared with the 5 star Fallen Robin (M)

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
-3 -5 +2 -2 +11

Compared with the 5 star Surtr

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
-5 -4 +9 -7 +8

Unfortunately, unlike all of the other 3 180 base stat total units, Winter Fae does not receive a prf weapon. The lack of a prf weapon also hurts her scoring potential in Arena and Arena Assault. She scores similarly to other Gen 2 armor units with a prf weapon.

However, her inheritable weapon is still a pretty good one. Similar to the prf weapons in the Bridal 2018 banner, Fae's weapon grants additional stats depending on the number of allies within 2 spaces. The main difference is that Fae gains Def/Res as opposed to Atk/Spd. Fae's stat distribution also makes her predominantly an Enemy Phase unit, which perfectly synergizes with this weapon. 

She also comes with one of the better bonds in the game, Def/Res Bond, that further supplements her Enemy Phase play style. Coupled with Vengeful Fighter and Armor March, Fae is a very strong Enemy Phase unit out of the box and could be further invested into to make her an absolute juggernaut.

In a vacuum, Winter Fae is looking to be an excellent hero. Unfortunately, the world is not a vacuum. There are a lot of comparisons to be drawn to the other Gen 2 armor units, namely Fallen Robin (M) and Surtr. Both of these units sport a considerably higher Attack than Fae, and it could be argued that Fae's stats are rather poorly optimized, which makes her 180 base stat not as significant as it made out to be.

Fae's Speed stat is the highest of the three, which rarely comes into play due to the Fighter skills skipping most Speed checks. Furthermore, it is also not high enough to prevent opponent doubles, which essentially is saying that the stat investment in Speed is quite a waste for the most part. Speed is also a superbane on Fae, which will hurt her scoring potential should player chose to aim for a Speed bane. 

Should You Pull?

Here are some reasons to try your luck on green orbs:

  • You want Def/Res Bond for your Enemy Phase units.
  • You want Glittering Breath + for experimentation on your dragons.
  • You want a 180 BST unit and you do not have Surtr.
  • You want an armored dragon and you do not have Fallen Robin (M).
  • You want a giant fluffball of defensive stat that survives pretty much everything except the effective weapons.

Here are a few reasons you may want to stay away from green orbs:

  • You already have Surtr and Fallen Robin (M).
  • As a 180 base stat unit, she only scores as well as the other Gen 2 armors due to lack of prf weapon.
  • She has a double weakness as an armored dragon.
  • You do not like armor movement as a whole.
  • You have no soul.

Ephraim: Sparkling Gallantly

Ephraim pulled a Hector by bringing his legendary spear Siegmund for the Winter Festival. As a unit, Ephraim's most noteworthy trait is his unprecedented 41 Attack. He also comes with very respectable stats throughout, with 36 Def, 29 Res and 45 HP. Similar to his Legendary form, Ephraim's whole kit revolves around being a lone wolf on the battlefield.

Compared with free Eliwood (LA)

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
-2 +3 -9 +7 0

Compared with the 5 star Fallen Hardin

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
0 +7 -5 0 -3

Compared with the 5 star Brave Hector

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
-3 +4 +1 -3 +1

As said above, Ephraim has the highest Attack of not only the armored lances, but also all units as of the time of writing. This is further supported by having a superboon in Attack, his weapon, Festive Siegmund, and his base skill set. His weapon is a Slaying Lance that provides +4 to all 4 stats when he has no adjacent allies. He comes with a new skill, Atk/Def Solo, that grants an additional +6 to Atk/Def when Festive Siegmund's conditions were met, and he has Bold Fighter, which needs no introduction as a powerful Player Phase skill. All this adds up to an extremely powerful Player Phase unit, with also a rather formidable Enemy Phase simply due to the sheer number of in-combat stat bonus he gets.

However, there is an issue to his gimmick. While Solo skills work exceedingly well in the Player Phase, as an armored unit, going solo usually means losing mobility due to lack of Armor March for the next turn. This does mean that usually, Ephraim will prefer to only use Festive Siegmund's effect in the Player Phase, which somewhat stifles his flexibility.

This is compared to the other two 5-star armored lances in the permanent pool. Hardin with a Distant Counter weapon enables him to run the usual Mixed Phase build with Bold Fighter and Steady Breath, while Hector could also do very similar things with Quick Riposte in his prf lance. In all, Winter Ephraim has a very strong niche in exchange for potential awkwardness when utilizing his kit to its full potential.

Should You Pull?

Here are some reasons to try your luck on blue orbs:

  • You want a very strong Player Phase armor.
  • You want another Bold Fighter fodder.
  • You want to play around with Atk/Def Solo.
  • You want to use Close Guard to support your allies.
  • You just want a strong armored lance unit.

Here are a few reasons you may want to stay away from blue orbs:

  • You do not like armor movement as a whole.
  • You prefer Enemy Phase units over Player Phase ones.
  • Anti-synergy of Solo skills and Festive Siegmund with Armor March, which could be rather finicky at times.

Eirika: Gentle as Snow

Joining her brother from Renais, Eirika returns as our very first armored staff unit. However, rather than following her typical stat distribution of her other forms, Eirika follows the typical armor stat distribution by dropping her speed in favor of very strong mixed defenses with 30 Defense and 34 Resistance.

Compared with the 3 star Azama

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
-1 +15 -3 -2 +9

Compared with the 3 star Wrys

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
0 +12 0 +8 -2

Compared with the 5 star Mist

Hp Atk Spd Def Res
+3 +9 -5 +10 0

Eirika is not only the first armored staff unit, she is also the first healer that sports a strong mixed bulk and decent Atk. She is unlike any of the healers that are available in the summoning pool due to the above reasons. 

Examining her default skills, she comes with a rather synergistic kit for support. The combination of Joyous Lantern and Atk Opening grants the ally (or allies) with the highest Atk +6 Atk, +5 Def and +5 Res regardless of positioning. This is potentially huge and it grants players an additional method of building team compositions. As the buffs are shared when allies jointly have the highest attack, it is theoretically possible to buff your whole team if your whole team has the same attack. Such a possibility is indeed very exciting.

While armor units have some of the highest combat potential, this directly contradicts the role of healers. Staff units do not have access to offensive specials, which makes utilization of Special charge acceleration in most of the Fighter skills rather awkward. Armor mobility also could be a potential problem, as staff units value its mobility when moving to their wounded allies. Fortunately, Wary Fighter exists, and it supports Eirika's mixed bulk rather nicely.

Should You Pull?

Here are some reasons to try your luck on colorless orbs:

  • You want to try out the first armored healer in the game.
  • You want to use Atk Opening eventually.
  • You want to theory-craft new team compositions that involve Attack values.
  • You want yet another Dazzling Staff fodder.

Here are a few reasons you may want to stay away from colorless orbs:

  • You do not like armor movement as a whole, especially on a healer.
  • You already had a fully invested mixed bulk healer such as Azama or Wrys.