It’s difficult to compete in quality with special REMs like Final Fantasy and Bleach, but as far as seasonals go New Year’s is one of the better ones. Kanna is one of the best subs in the game, Yomi is a great endgame lead, Yamato is a very strong fire sub, and there are a few nice role players at lower rarities like Hanzo and Tengu. Where something like Christmas had a gaping void in value between its 8-stars and silvers, New Year’s does a much better job of presenting good value throughout all rarities. I’m still very reluctant to recommend rolling in a special REM, especially now that Bleach set such a high standard, but considering how dismal the standard REM rates have become I couldn’t blame anyone for trying their luck.
GungHo, why can’t you give everyone advance notice about special REMs? More than a matter of hours, maybe? I mean, JP got it’s latest godfest notice a week in advance. It’s true that a Friday or Saturday start date was a fairly safe assumption due to the approaching Lunar New Year, but I’d still like something official. And by official I mean from NA itself, not from EU or KR. I guess I should just be happy we got 9.6 when we did, but I don’t think an improvement in communication is asking too much.
Anyways, the review will be slightly rushed. I started work on this earlier than I usually would, but due to various circumstances I simply couldn’t put in as much time in overall as I would’ve liked. Despite that, I feel pretty good about this review. As usual, if you find that I missed any salient points, please feel free to let me know in the comments.
Translating Yomi’s 43.75% damage shield into effective HP and RCV multipliers, you get a 1.78/100/1.78 lead. Of the current top leads, in terms of raw multipliers, she isn’t very impressive. For example, Ra Dragon is 2.25/144/2.25 and Gremory and Ronove are effectively 2.37/144/2.37; they have higher multipliers across the board. However, we all know that just comparing multipliers doesn’t tell the entire story, but does Yomi have what it takes to compete with these types of leads and overcome this superficial deficit? For the most part, I believe so.
Her most obvious strength is the consistency in activating her shield. Barring extreme circumstances, she can activate on just about every type of board, even after an orb change or skyfall debuff, which isn’t something heart-cross leads can boast. This is likely the reason why her shield blocks less damage. Offensively, she’s still priced into making a match-five with six or more combos to hit her full multiplier which isn’t guaranteed, but is still a fairly relaxed activation (note that this is one less combo than required by her awoken form). These two activations combined, I don’t see a huge advantage in consistency when compared to, say, a Myr TPA team, but she’s certainly more consistent than something like Kaede or Sumire. This consistency means Yomi needs to dedicate fewer active slots to orb changers, giving her the freedom to use more utility actives. Because of this, I think she compares favorably to most of the best heart-cross leads.
Compared to Ra Dragon, however, Yomi has a hard time keeping up. She technically has a more consistent offensive activation, but Ra Dragon’s defense is better and is always-on. This means even if the board is unfavorable, as long as it has hearts or he has enough HP buffered he can live through it. It’s not like Ra Dragon is inconsistent offensively, either. Yes, you’ll have to use an active to hit his full multiplier if the board doesn’t cooperate, but he still puts out a respectable 56.25x at five out of six elements which turns into big damage if it includes a light TPA. This makes him much more consistent than his uevo form. So, considering that Ra Dragon’s defense is vastly superior and running under the pessimistic premise that his offense is only slightly behind at worst, Yomi simply can’t compete. This isn’t a huge knock against her, though, as very few leads can.
I could continue the comparison game until we drown in the details, but I think it’ll suffice to say that Yomi is quite strong, but not quite in elite territory (which is difficult territory to breach if you’re not bind immune to begin with). As she compares favorably to most heart-cross leads, it’s safe to consider her one of the best in the game.
I’d like to address the new enhanced combo awakening as well (which I’ll refer to as the 7-combo awakening on this blog unless something else catches on). For those unfamiliar, it grants the card that has it 2x ATK when you reach seven or more combos. This awakening seems tailor-made for Yomi. It plays well with the match-five activation, something that cannot be said for TPAs and rows. Since it doesn’t require any special orb formations in itself, you generally have more than enough board space to activate even with a match-five. As you were likely to hit seven combos anyways, this is the perfect complement. Conversely, you have to be more fine with your damage control because of it. If you’re not careful, one or two ill-timed skyfalls can easily ruin your day. I’m a fan of this awakening type and I’m looking forward to seeing it appear on more cards.
Usually not much thought is given to using Yomi as a sub, but I think this version has some potential, mostly off the back of the 7-combo awakening. I’m always looking for more ways to fit time extends onto my teams, but the fact that she can also contribute offensively beyond her OEs makes her extremely appealing. On the other hand, light has historically been rainbow-oriented so I’m not sure if another good combo leader in the element will appear so soon after this one, but the awakening is likely good enough for rainbow teams, too.
On a personal note, I’m really hoping I roll this card. As many people have already commiserated, cross-based matching has became dull long ago and I’ve personally had enough of rainbow matching from the last time Ra Dragon was great. I’d absolutely love to get my hands on this combo-based lead, if only for the change of pace, but it helps that she’s very strong as well.
Last year, Kanna was the best card in the REM, more by default than anything. She’s arguably so again, but this time it’s due to her own merits. Mainly due to the wide acceptance of her being a regular on the “ideal” Ra Dragon team and a critical component of the Myr TPA and hybrid lineups. While her bind immunity and damage output are the main reasons for her dominance, especially for teams that can sport bind immunity across all subs, she’s particularly good on Myr since she enables the team to be the least orb hungry heart-cross lead, outputting huge damage with only a cross and a single TPA.
Yeah, sure, this Kanna is great, but how does she compare to the GFE version? Well, it doesn’t take a genius to see that there isn’t all that much difference. In terms of stats, NY Kanna has 24 more weighted stats: 20 ATK and 200 HP. Not exactly negligible, but nothing game breaking, either. When it comes to awakenings, the only difference is that NY has a time extend where the GFE has a skill boost. Ignoring player skill, a skill boost is always better. A time extend has very little overall impact on either Ra Dragon or Myr teams since they come with so much movement time already. However, as a shitter, I recognize that I need all the time I can get so the choice is still salient, especially when considering other leads. The last major difference is their sub-element, NY having fire and GFE being light. This means the GFE version can do up to 10% more damage, more than making up for the 20 less ATK. There’s also the issue of absorb shields, but it’s not obvious as to which element is better or worse in that regard. In the big picture, the differences mean little. If you only have one, you won’t miss the other. If you have both, you should be encouraged to use the one that best fits your playstyle (i.e. are you bad or not) and the dungeon at hand. If you have neither and want her, then, well, good luck. Rolling either REM has it’s pros and cons, but both are crapshoots.
NY Kanna is also a respectable leader. At 1/36/2.25 with a 75% shield she isn’t contesting Myr or anything, but this is a more than respectable line. Considering that seasonal 8-stars have mostly been mediocre as leads, it’s doubly surprising to see a pushed sub also be a competent lead.
During Ra Dragon’s previous reign, NY Amaterasu was a key inheritance base in achieving both a bind and skill bind immune team. She was essentially irreplaceable in this regard as there was no other god at the time that was bind immune and also supplied two SBRs (well, I guess there’s PAD Bear, but, yeah). However, even back then, Indra saw more widespread use and Ra Dragon users weren’t exactly lamenting the fact they were missing this card from their arsenals.
Fast forward to today and not only did her niche role disappear, but with no buffs she wasn’t able to gain traction elsewhere. With Ra Dragon receiving an SBR with his uuevo, the team no longer has issues reaching 100%. For bind immunity, Kanna has supplanted all other options for that fourth sub slot. There’s also a reasonable expectation that a revo for the standard REM version will hit JP soon. With it, she’ll likely regain god typing like all other non-god awokens have before this, making the NY version even less desirable, especially after you factor the presumed revo buffs. This really only leaves her devil killer as her outstanding feature. Killers are almost always great, but on a team like Ra Dragon they’re only a liability against absorb shields. That’s not to say she’s useless, as many players can make use of her bind utility, but none of the top teams covet her has a sub and even fewer players would pay 300k MP for her or prefer her over the other 8-stars. As a leader, she’s woefully outdated, but can still see use in dungeon cheesing as well as being a consistent option for no awakening dungeons, especially in Kaguya-Hime where her auto-heal is an asset.
As it stands, GungHo has been shy about adding new or buffing existing MP cards. As MP becomes more accessible, I’d really wish they put more effort into making more intriguing options. Maybe we can overlook Amaterasu not receiving buffs this year, but it’ll be unacceptable if this repeats next year.
Last year I called this a bad Yamato. I lamented the loss of the third skill boost, which to me was his defining trait. Well, a lot has changed since then. First, they ended up giving him the third skill boost along with a dragon killer for good measure. As it turns out, most of the endgame farming dungeons are dragon-dense making this a surprisingly great buff. Next, co-op turned out to be bigger than I ever imagined, making the multi boost a huge asset. I really blew my call on all things co-op; even if co-op came out literal days before NA got the New Year’s event, I still should’ve been able to make a better judgment by seeing what was being done on JP (although I can still say I’m still not a fan of the game mode and it took a series of ridiculous incentives for me to adopt it). Now, after almost a year, fire has a proper farming lead in Yamamoto who can put all of his abilities to good use; for a long time he only really saw co-op use on fire-based MZeus teams. It’s hard to deny that NY Yamato is one of the best farming cards in the game now and this is where most of his value lies.
For those not into farming or just don’t have the team to run him in that capacity, he’s much worse. Even more so if you’re not into co-op as he has rather low base stats (750.17 weighted vs. the uuevo’s 840.17) and you’d obviously rather have another row than a useless multi boost. Still, a Yamato is a Yamato and he’s a great card regardless.
Somewhat surprisingly, this card got a leader skill buff, maybe because they couldn’t really buff him in any other way. He has a fairly respectable 1/36/2.25 for dragons, but that typing restriction and 8+ orb requirement are a steep price for those returns especially when you consider that Krishna exists (although eight orbs for 36x is way better than the original’s 10 orbs for 25x). Much like with Kanna, this isn’t exactly a highlight, but it’s nice to have nevertheless.
Horus was one of the better cards in this REM last year. He actually compared favorably to something like Awoken Yomi who was one of the better leads at the time. However, even back then, glass cannons were being forced out of supremacy due to the MP Dragons who boasted RCV boosts in addition to their high damage output. He’s almost certainly worse than the old Ra Dragon even with more than a 50% buff to his leader skill ATK boost. The game just punishes pure glass cannon leads so much and if you don’t bring a ridiculously easy activation paired with obscene damage output (see: Aizen) you simply can’t compete. Combining two difficult activation clauses, rainbow and match-five, is too inconsistent for what you get in return.
Well, that was obvious to most people. Besides those that have no better options, or those that do but would rather handicap themselves, I don’t see anyone using him as a lead. So the question becomes: are there any sub uses for this card? No, not really. He brings a respectable damage boost for teams that have no OEs as he guarantees 100% fire skyfall by himself, but, unlike something like Eschamali, his active is relatively poor. His sub prospects improve by using him in co-op where he’ll bring about 1,000 weighted stats (although his revo has this as base stats). His cooldown, while not as short as his awoken or revo forms, is still short enough to make a decent inheritance base.
He does enhance light orbs in addition to fire which could possibly be relevant, although outside maybe a Tsubaki team it’s questionable how useful the combination is. Apparently I missed that he now enhances all non-water orbs. Only four other cards enhance more than three orb types (Awoken/NY Yomi, My Melody, Ganesha and Sephiroth). This certainly gives him some additional value, especially when you consider the haste, and should be useful for people that don’t already have an inheritable orb enhance.
The seasonal Chinese are always difficult to write reviews for since nothing really stands out. In and of themselves, they’re solid cards, but various circumstances, namely the heart meta, have made them poor sub choices for quite a while. Hopefully the recent shift away from that is a sign that non-heart subs will regain value in the future. As leaders, they’re fine and will get you quite far into the game — I actually made good progress on my JP alt pairing Awoken Haku with Christmas Haku — but it’s hard to get excited about a middling multiplier, especially when a match-five is involved.
As a sub, the circumstances surrounding Leilan have probably improved the most of all her seasonal siblings with maybe Haku being the only exception due to uuevo Yomi Dragon. There has been a slight push for fire-and-light teams with leaders such as Minerva, Ilm and Tsubaki and Leilan fits right in. She also works quite well with Silk’s damage enhance. Fire has no shortage of cards with five or more fire OEs, though, weighing in at a robust 10 (Christmas Haku, Elgenubi, ROdin Tamazo, Krishna, Dantalion, Napoleon, Academy Theuriga, New Year’s Horus, and Shaitan), but she and Christmas Haku are the only board changes of the group.
When considering her for a Krishna team, who is widely accepted as the best endgame fire lead, her OEs don’t look quite as good. Since Krishna leads provide more than enough OEs to reach 100% enhanced skyfall, you generally want to stack rows or TPAs on top of that to be more offensively efficient per awakening. She’s still fine in the role, though, and if she is the only option you have you can feel pretty good about running her.
Of course, Leilan was granted a light form, but the circumstances don’t really change all that much. If anything, this flexibility allows you to switch between light- or fire-dominant Ilm/Minerva teams to suit your needs. Being light OE based also makes her a good candidate for qualifying for both Titania and Silk damage enhances. Light has a smaller pool of cards with five or more light OEs at six (June Izanami, June Eschamali, Linka, New Year’s Sandalphon, and Genie) and Leilan is one of the better options. She now gives Fuma Kotaro — and by extension, June Eschamali — a board combination he never had without inheritance.
Spica is one of my favorite cards in the game. Feels good to finally have one of your favorites featured in a seasonal. Feels better that she got cute art. Feels great that even though she’s a 5-star, she’s reasonably useful. (Feels amazing that I don’t have to break the bank to roll her). Don’t get me wrong, she’s nowhere near as good as other standout seasonal 5-stars such as June Akechi or even this REM’s Hanzo, but she does have reasonable uses.
For determining her power, we have a pretty good baseline to work with: Spica is basically a recolor of Castor & Pollux from the Christmas REM. I suggest reading my review for them for further insights as they mostly play the same way. They both bring a solid 1/42.25/1.69 line for gods and machines. As with all match-five leads, their multiplier is a bit deceiving since it doesn’t work well with rows and TPAs, but as killers — and eventually the 7-combo awakening — become more common this is less of an issue.
Similarly, Spica is not a great base sub due to the split nature of her OEs and active. There are light-and-wood leads like Apollo, but surely you can find a better sub than one with 3x OEs (as one of the sets is usually useless), 2x SBRs and a skill boost. She does work well with Titania’s damage enhance, however, as both OE types qualify. She does have some promise as an assist skill. Mostly for match-five leads, but as the best ones currently are Yomi Dragon and NY Yomi, Pollux & Castor are generally a better fit.
Reco has demonstrated the effectiveness of a Yomi Dragon-Spica “system” team in farming Arena 1, which is surprisingly fast for a meme team, but there’s not much reason to run it over a similar Castor & Pollux team. The main reason being that Arena 1 has two preemptive wood binds — Kraken and Apollo — where there are none for dark. This is easily solved by a row of hearts, but is annoying nonetheless. There are also no DQ Hera concerns assuming reco’s latent setup. Castor & Pollux have 200 less HP than Spica which results in 880 less team HP after considering skill inheritance stat bonuses. As you can see in the video, he has 2103 leftover HP after the DQ Hera preemptive so the Castor & Pollux team is in the clear. A good reason to run Spica instead is to avoid dark absorb shield trolling, but the binds seem to be a bigger annoyance to me. Although, let’s face it, as endearing as the Castor & Pollux art is, Spica is much cuter which should be the true motivation to run the team.
I’ve been reassessing my reviews of the seasonal Ninjas, reining in their grades a bit since their value as farming subs is predicated on potential rather than what they can contribute immediately. Last year, Hanzo was the start of it all. He quickly emerged as a key sub for MZeus farming teams against the assortment of dragon-based dungeons, namely SUDR, something that I didn’t predict at the time of my review. In reaction to that missed point, I inflated my review of Academy Sasuke. He never really panned out. As such, both my reviews for Halloween Chiyome and Christmas Hatsume were more reserved, instead taking the middle road. This train of thought remains true for my second review of Hanzo. While MZeus farming has taken a backseat to other leads, there’s no telling when Hanzo will emerge as a key farming sub once again. As with many cards, hardcore farmers will want a few just in case, but most other players won’t have a pressing need for him.
Outside of farming, Hanzo is also on the same level as his seasonal peers. At one point he was the only fire to light orb changer and got bonus points for that, but since then June Akechi’s orb change has made his look silly. However, Hanzo does have slightly higher value in his element as he’s only one of four light cards with a dragon killer (the others being Aten, Ilm and Xiao Qiao). The element with the next fewest is water at six and dark at seven, where fire and wood are well into the double digits. So just by scarcity he has some additional value.
As with many cards I reviewed before skill inheritance, I came down quite hard on Mitsuki. Her awakening selection was poor at best even considering the rather rare machine killer. At the time there were very few machine type enemies and even if there were, without inheritance there was no way to get around her poor active.
Even with inheritance, her lack of skill boosts makes her difficult to integrate into teams. However, the alternatives in fire aren’t all that great, either, with Uzume (fire split) and Minerva (dark) also lacking skill boosts, making the long cooldown Shiva (water) the best of a poor selection. Since NA is missing Berserker, perhaps the best collab silver in existence, we have to make do. So saving a Mitsuki or two might be a good idea, depending on what other options you have. Unfortunately, the best option for machine dungeons might actually be scraping together enough damage without killers or just finding a non-fire team.
As a sub, Jeanne has very little practical use. Her key features are her six auto-heals which heal 4.8k HP every turn post-buff (buffed from 500 HP each to 800). The only other cards with at least six auto-heals are dark Rei, Misery and Odin Dragon. Considering that GungHo is making a Gemstone-style damage enhances for strange awakenings types (see: Azazel with blind resists) it’s conceivable that one might eventually be made for auto-heals. Even if they do, though, the uses will be quite limited since the awakening is so poor.
While auto-heals are basically a joke, reco has been putting them to interesting use in a revo Anubis team which includes nine total. After the Maniac HP badge, inherit stat bonuses and naturally high HP subs, he hits about 36k HP solo and the extra 7.2k healing every turn for a team without an RCV buff makes a significant sustainability contribution. When your lead has no problem with damage, but needs a few chances to activate, trading a few offensive awakenings for auto-heals is a perfectly fine deal. Outside this novelty, there’s very little reason to go to such lengths as most of the best leads offer some kind of buff to their sustainability and the awakenings slots are better utilized for offense, but it’s an interesting team building paradigm to keep in mind for the future.
It’s difficult to call any active completely useless, but this is about as close as it gets. This hurts any potential she might’ve had as an inherit base as even mediocre options have somewhat relevant base actives that’d you’d be happy to use should they happen to refresh. At the very least, they lowered the cooldown from 10 to five, but in reality it should probably be lower, even with the risk of making it easier to cycle.
Last year I noted that Kaguya was just a bad Ariel. Well, that still holds true today. As a budget replacement she’s still questionable; even if we overlook the lower damage output, we can’t overlook the lack of bind immunity. Even as a poverty sub option she’s fairly poor. Her two distinct traits — wood coverage and a single time extend — are severely outclassed by the farmable Valkyrie Ana. Just a very poor card overall.
Last year I bashed Tengu pretty hard, giving him maybe the only F of all my reviews. It felt insulting to put an easily farmable and widely used card into a REM and barely buff it and I went hyperbolic to make a point. Well, that was before skill inheritance. How does that change anything when you can just use the farmable version as a base instead? There’s a short list of niche reasons, but when you add them all up having a NY Tengu is a great option to have:
- No dupes.
- All attributes/rainbow color coverage.
- Dark binds.
There’s also the corner case of using him to farm Legendary Earth. I don’t advocate farming purely for rank, but if NA ever gets 0 stamina normals like JP, I don’t see any reason not to and this team takes a relatively low investment.
No, none of these reasons are a huge deal individually, but since a year of his release, I can’t tell you how many times these factors have been relevant. The most recent being dark binds where you can’t use the original Tengu on the P1 team for Special Descended Rush due to Nordis’ dark bind.
Until the day NA gets Whaledor (pls), NY Tengu will continue to be special. I saved five last year “just in case” and I’m so glad I did (although it was under the ambitious speculation that he might become inheritable). I’ll be saving another five this year, for sure.
Now we’ve reached the dregs of the REM, underwhelming returning silvers that only got worse over time. This is where I usually dig extremely deep to find something nice to say about a card, but there’s not much positive to say about Medjedra. I guess I could say something about his wood OEs (only five other cards with five or more) or how they might play well with Titania’s damage enhance. Maybe he’s a decent poverty Acala sub, OEs being one of the few ways of boosting cross damage and the balanced damage enhance being relevant. In the end, though, this is a thoroughly mediocre card.
Last year, I found Sandalphon intriguing because of his dark resists. Remember that this was in the days of Yomi Dragon’s dominance where dark resists were proven to have relevance against DQ Hera’s preemptive for Arena 1 farming. Considering the farmable Sandalphon was already a fairly nice sub, that meant an upgraded version would be great, right? Well, that was shortsighted as a sub needs a team and very few teams needed a Sandalphon regardless of his improvements. Overestimating a card based on a non-existent team is a mistake I (hopefully) won’t repeat in the future.
Over time, Sandalphon’s prospects have gotten worse. I say this often in my reviews, but that doesn’t make it less true: damage shields and resists have lost so much value due to the increase in tankiness in all of today’s best leads. This essentially invalidates Sandalphon’s reason to exist. Then add that Jewel Princess-type damage enhances dominate all others and Sandalphon is looking pretty bad. I think an easy fix would be giving him another bind resist to hit 100%, but I don’t remember the last time GungHo buffed a seasonal silver, if ever.
It’s rare that I’m positive about a seasonal REM, but this is as close as it gets. I mean, I really wish everything was as good as Bleach, but that obviously isn’t possible. I think there’s just enough value at all rarities and the 8-star chase cards are just good enough that I’d actually consider this a good lineup overall. This isn’t a license to roll as each player has to take their own situation into consideration, but I do hope some people that intended to ignore this REM at least consider how it could help their situation; it most likely won’t, but I think it’s at least worth taking a look at.
Personally, this is the first REM in a long time where I’ve felt like chasing an 8-star. I’m aware that Yomi won’t be breaking the game, but she just looks like such a fun lead that I’d love to try her out. The heartbreak of not rolling that 8-star after dumping packs into the REM is not something I’m eager to repeat, but as long as I’m rolling Spicas I think I can endure, for better or worse. For those also chasing an 8-star, I wish you good luck.