The Heroine REM is finally upon us and there’s seems to be a good amount of excitement surrounding it. Well, I don’t want to rain on everybody’s parade, but this REM doesn’t present that much value with most of the cards excelling in niche roles at best. Bleach set the standard for special REMs very high and while the Heroines include a couple of powerful cards — Ilmina and Meridionalis in particular — at 10 stones per pull I’m not convinced the machine is deep enough to justify the cost. I think a prudent player would wait for the ultimates to be announced on JP and wait for it to come back in three to four months to make a more educated decision or roll in the window the events should presumably overlap.
This review is somewhat pointless. All of these cards are expected to get ultimates on the next JP stream on the 19th (conveniently the date that this REM is ending on NA). Which means reviewing them for their current abilities will likely mean very little in only a couple of weeks. Something as small as a single awakening can totally change the outlook of a card. Add the fact that we’ll almost certainly be getting this REM again in three to four months’ time means you’ll be missing out on very little if you skip rolling this time around and instead wait to make a more educated decision. Also, this is pure speculation, but what if they add cards to the REM the second time around? It’d feel pretty bad to have to risk dupes to get that one card they added. I think whether you roll this time comes down to how much you want Ilmina and how much of an impact she might make in the period before the event returns.
This REM is also awkward to review due to the 10-stone cost as well as the absence of silvers. I usually rate cards relative to those in other rarities, but it’s unclear how the extra stone cost factors into the overall value per roll. As such, the ratings might seem a little awkward, but know that I put quite a bit of effort into tweaking them reflect how valuable I think they’d be to all ranges of players.
Once again, this review was slightly rushed. Please let me know of anything I missed in the comments, Thanks!
Ilmina is the prize of the REM. Really the only card worth rolling for and as such should serve as the crux of your decision to roll or not. I think the vast majority of players don’t need what Ilmina has to offer and thus should not roll in this REM.
Personally, I’m most interested in her for farming teams and, for the most part, this is the role she gets the most attention for on YouTube, most notably for the various Legendary Earth farming teams centered around her (which are irrelevant to NA without Whaledor). I’m not much interested in farming rank, but she has farming potential beyond that. This can be summed up in two parts: her excellent awakenings and her even better active. Her four skill boosts aren’t all that important on JP, but considering NA doesn’t have access to Whaledor we need all the skill boost options we can get. It just so happens she has some pretty great awakenings to go along with them. For her active, I cannot stress the value of two-part actives enough, especially when both parts would be skills you’d want to be using individually anyways. The value of compressing two skill slots into a single one should never be understated and play a critical role in formulating efficient farming teams. The ability to laser the current floor and create orbs to clear the next is quite powerful.
The next most interesting application would be ranking dungeons. If the recent Yamatsumi Cup was any indicator, the power of casino-style strategies (basically a strategy where you use a two-color board changer in conjunction with a 7×6 leader, swipe and hope for the best) are top-10 competitive. However, you need to take a few factors into consideration: a) Tifa already exists, b) you can just pair with a friend’s Ilmina (this will be a common theme in this REM) and c) GungHo might not put out any more dungeons where this is the prevalent strategy. NA still has Hera-Is, but ever since the Phoenix Wright orb refresh debacle, JP as only released two non-fixed dungeons both of which were 10 floors or higher, basically squashing any high-variance strategies such as this. Of course, she still has use in ranking dungeons as a sub or assist. Going back to Yamatsumi, most casino teams used Superman to take care of the PreDRA floor, but if we had Ilmina we might’ve used her instead, or just used her as a leader pair over Tifa. As someone that wants to perform well in ranking dungeons, I definitely want Ilmina in my arsenal, but most players are going to have to think hard about whether it’s really worth it for them.
Those were some pretty niche applications. How good is Ilmina when used in a straightforward manner? While she’s inherently powerful as a sub, there’s no endgame teams that are desperate for her services. Ilm, Tsubaki and Minerva are obvious fits. Perhaps something like Krishna could use her, but she’s not so much better than your typical two-color board changer that she’s worth chasing after in this capacity.
Elgenubi is inherently powerful as already proved by Eschamali. I’ll spare you the spiel of describing a fire Escha, so let’s get to the important part: context. When I think of endgame fire teams, Krishna is the first that comes to my mind. However, Elgenubi isn’t all that great on the team. Her damage boost is most relevant on teams that have no other OEs since the bonus of 100% enhanced skyfall is what makes the first five OEs competitive offensively; the OEs you stack beyond that are less effective per awakening compared to TPAs or rows. Krishna leads already bring 10 between them. That’s not say the OEs are useless as they still contribute offensively on any type of match, but the boost isn’t as great as one might think. Her other powerful attribute, the double orb change with a four-turn skyfall buff, is also at odds with the team, clashing with Krishna’s own skyfall buff. Inheritance over one or both of your Krishnas can help address this, but the skyfall portion of the active is less important for the team. None of these factors are necessarily a knock against her as she’s still a strong sub and there’s plenty of other teams she can do work on (Minerva, Shiva, etc), but I did want to give some context that she’s currently not as coveted as her dark sister who is an asset on top teams like Aizen and Yomi Dragon. It’s no coincidence that those two teams also covet OEs where most fire leads don’t covet them past the first five.
She is quite good on Shiva Dragon, though. A single active providing a steady stream of TPAs over several turns is exactly what you want. While this is obviously good for farming, perhaps her best use was in the JP Beelzebub Tournament where her skyfall buff was also used to provide fire orbs over the duration of a skill bind in certain strategies (although, to be fair, they didn’t have the new Shiva Dragon uuevo yet, which wouldn’t have this problem, but the skyfall buff over a long dungeon is still a valid point).
Ilmina might be the prize, but Meridionalis has the most practical uses right now. She was easily an S grade for me when first announced, but now that we have Yamamoto I don’t think she’s quite as valuable.
For farming, her no skyfall clause is her most important attribute. This translates to quicker farming runs since you don’t have to wait for skyfall combo animations to resolve. This also has niche advantages like poison skyfall not killing you. She is blessed with an assortment of quality subs and assist skills, her most important base subs being Sarasvati and the new split BOdin and the most important assist being Toshiro. NA lacks Whaledor, but Sarasvati and BOdin should cover skill boosts handily. NA also lacks Raguel to cover Meri’s lack of SBRs, but cards like Rukia, BMeta and Summer Chester should be sufficient in most cases. This essentially makes her a faster, water Liu Bei, her main downside being bind vulnerability, lead binds in particular.
However, running two Meris as leads is not a requirement and, for the most part, pairing with a Neptune Dragon is sufficient. This means only one side needs to actually roll her so you don’t necessarily have to break your budget in order to benefit from her. If you have no Toshiros and at least a few Sarasvatis or BOdin, you shouldn’t be rolling for her. If you have a functional Liu Bei roster, you need to ask yourself whether the time saved is worth it (and, for the teams you have for the dungeons you want to farm, whether there’s a time save in the first place). Then, perhaps the biggest factor is whether you can find a partner to run the team.
As a straight sub or inherit, I don’t see her seeing much use. In large part she’s a water Australis and he doesn’t see too much widespread use. That may be in large part due to Dios so I guess Meri could serve as some kind of Toshiro replacement. She does have a rather rare +2 combo bonus, one of only three in the entire game (Khepri, Kinnikuman Soldier), making her appealing for inheritance against combo shields like MZeus and the Coliseum Orpharion. As a straight leader, she’s actually quite good and is one of the better water leads in the game, although not so much that she’s worth rolling for.
As a straight sub, the combination of a board change, time extends and dragon killer is quite good. She’s only one of two cards that have four time extends (the other being Yuna) and only about 12 others have three or more. Perhaps her best home is on an Acala team. I love me some time extends, but in team building you have to be careful not to stack these time extend sticks because you lose out on other offensive and utility awakenings, especially since your leads already supply six. This isn’t as much of a concern on Acala because she does plenty of damage regardless of your subs’ awakenings. However, I can see the dragon killer being a hindrance to the team. Once of Acala’s strengths is the damage control her no skyfall clause enables, but a killer could easily mess with your damage thresholds.
Coming off the Yamatsumi Tournament, we witnessed the power of 7×6 leads. Romia can be used to replicate the Ilm casino teams, albeit at a lower level, by running multiple GSonias. There are various team building nuances that I don’t want to get into here, namely how to hit max damage, but for ranking dungeons where such a strategy is viable she should at least be a consideration. However, as I already addressed in my Ilmina review, this strategy doesn’t seem applicable going forward (past Hera-Is, anyways) as JP seems to be moving toward longer, 10+ floor dungeons. Whether this strategy becomes viable again remains to be seen.
Instead of focusing on what Navi is not, let’s focus on what she is. Her most obvious use is as an SBR stick on farming teams that is generally better than Summer Chester (+2 skill boosts) and can be better than the standard Chesters (+1 skill boost, +1 SBR) assuming their killers don’t factor into the equation. Her active is a turn slower, but her extra skill boosts more than make up for that deficit. So, unless NA gets Raguel, she’s the best SBR solution for teams like Liu Bei, even if she is off-color. There’s also Serket to consider, but that’s a bit of a stretch.
Does she have any value as an everyday sub? Not really. It’s been a while since an LKali board has been relevant and even with leads like revo Ra and Raijin, you’d almost always rather have a DKali board. Even if you ignore that fact, most standard endgame leads already come with a single SBR, meaning at least one of Navi’s has already gone to waste. She does have some use on the new split Hathor, providing water coverage and helping with the SBR situation, but if that’s how far we have to dig, her prospects are not good.
Finally, does she have any prospects as a lead? One thing that caught me a little off guard was that her leader skill only requires three elements to activate; I was expecting a rainbow activation. To be honest, she might’ve been better off with a rainbow activation as that would mean she’d get a higher multiplier. Unlike Romia and Ilmina, three colors is too many to be relevant in ranking dungeons and Aten has rainbow covered. I suppose if three- or four-color matching leads make a comeback she could see some use, but considering her awakenings are a non-factor, it’s difficult to justify her use.
Barbara’s raw multipliers are certainly attractive (4/49/4) and her playstyle is about as close as NA will come to Kinnikuman, but after factoring in the machine restriction she is close to useless as a leader. The definition of quality subs will vary from player to player, but the way I see it, dark and fire only offers three each: Hamal, Eschamali and Castor and Kuvia, Elgenubi and Antares. There are others that qualify as good base subs, but I think these are the only that are good all-around. That’s a pretty short list. Considering that her active also buffs dragons, hopefully her ultimate’s leader skill will include those as well.
Her real potential is as an assist skill, though. True, 16 turns is pretty hefty for an inherit, but in co-op this means little and can be worth the work to fit in as two-for-one actives are always quite valuable (and considering we can run Toshiro inherits on Meri teams, it’s not like it’s that much work). Considering the farming teams NA currently has access to, I imagine her active being good on Yamamoto where the damage enhance further boosts Tsubaki’s already insane damage against dragons. She does have some consideration as a base sub, but there really isn’t a good dark speedfarming team at the moment. That being said, her awakenings are excellent and might be good enough reason to dust off the old MHera or brew some type of Ichigo/Kaioh/Aizen concoction.
Is she good on any endgame teams? Sadly, not really, since all of the best dark leads — Aizen, DAthena, Noctis, Yomi Dragon, Gremory, etc — she either doesn’t qualify for, squashes their activation or they can’t take advantage of her damage enhance. Killers are increasingly becoming a liability in the endgame, as well, and Fujin shouldn’t be over-relied upon. However, as the game presumably moves away from heart-based leads, hopefully subs like this will see more play.
Kuvia is excellent value. For what is essentially an 10-stone silver, she’s definitely worth the extra five stones over almost all normal silvers. This is almost entirely due to her quad TPAs, the only such fire card NA has access to and one of five total available (the others being Scheat, Kanna, NY Kanna, and Orochi). This alone would make her quite good, but she also has a double orb changer; a great feature that only gets better because it doesn’t break hearts a la Sitri. She’s also god type to qualify for perhaps the most obvious fire TPA lead, Shiva Dragon, and plays a role on the ranking dungeons he’s proficient at.
That being said, let’s not overestimate her abilities. As her base ATK is only 1166, expect damage output more on par with revo Orochi (1100) and not Kanna (1660). This means she suffers in the same way something like Orochi or Scheat do: her offense becomes pitiful without a TPA match. This also means there are a few triple TPA cards that come close to her offensively, including Kenshiro, Shiva Dragon, revo Kagutsuchi, and (hopefully eventually) the post-buff Misato&AAA Wunder. She’s good, but not great and in no way should be confused with Kanna’s ridiculousness.
How do her abilities stack when put into context? I already mentioned her obvious inclusion onto TPA-based Shiva Dragon teams, but I didn’t address how the heart skyfall buff affected her outlook. For something like Shiva Dragon, the heart skyfall is mostly a boon. It means healing is taken care of for a few turns and the hearts can easily be changed into offense, but in farming situations, where Shiva Dragon shines, extra skyfall is a drawback and you’d rather have more fire orbs naturally drop. This same buff is great for heart-based teams, though, like Christmas Gremory and Dantalion. Neither team is really looking for a TPA sub, but she could be a good inherit. On the other hand, she can be an outright hindrance for other teams. Krishna is the prime example, where the heart skyfall buff will overwrite you’re leads’ fire buffs.
When compared to the other 5-stars, Mel baffles me. Not that her contemporaries are amazing or anything, but she sticks out as the obvious worst of the bunch.
I don’t really understand her active in the context of her leader skill. When you consider that she’s supposed to take after Dantalion, I’d think a row of hearts would be much more appropriate, the six hearts guaranteeing a full activation. So, what is her active possibly good for? Hard to say, but at the very least it’s a passable inherit for a heart-cross team. Being a column removed from the side is much easier to cross than peeling it off the edge so this seems like this was the intended usage (tangent: I think it’d be hilarious if it just spawned a full out cross on the board instead). This active might be good enough for developing heart-cross teams, but is severely lacking otherwise. It needs to drop at least one turn cooldown to even be considered decent and even then you’d probably need to add in some sort of kicker like an orb enhance.
Past that, where else can she see use? As a base sub, she’s fairly unimpressive, but we do have to take note of unique abilities when we see them. In this case, Mel is the only card in the game with more than three heart OEs with six in total. Adding her to any team team is decent way of improving your healing, although, to be fair, most of today’s best leads don’t need much help in that department. There’s also a chance that more awakening-based mechanics like the Gemstone damage enhances could be made; while it’s unlikely that we’ll get a water-friendly version of Silk’s active, who’s to say something else won’t come along. It’s wild speculation, but worth keeping in mind and certainly worth the box space should you roll one (although you should be holding on to all the Heroines until the buffs are announced anyways).
I’ll just get straight to the point. No one is excited to roll an LMeta variant these days. To a degree, that sentiment is justified. Even if most of it is attributable to GungHo’s concerted efforts in giving her non-buffs, it’s no surprise people have soured through the whole process. Add to the fact that there are plenty of other accessible options, especially in wood, it’s no surprise that people don’t want to see a card like this in a 10-stone REM.
However, she’s far from terrible and actually has quite a bit of potential. I always think farming first and Mito’s double devil killers are reminiscent of Tsubaki’s double dragon killers. The comparison isn’t 1:1 as the teams they’d sub on (Liu Bei vs. Yamamoto) and awakenings (one vs. two skill boosts) are different, not to mention that dragons are more prevalent in endgame farming than devils, but Mito shows promise. She has a lower cooldown (four vs. seven) and is a bind immune sub for a bind immune lead. The additional damage means you can possibly use row changers like Leeza instead of a full on Dios board to take care of trash devil floors. All she really needs is another skill boost and, most importantly, a relevant dungeon to farm beyond retreads like Devil Rush, Scarlet or Zaerog to be a quality tool in your Liu Bei arsenal. Of course, this is all just potential so I can’t raise her grade too much because of it. I’m optimistic, but I was also optimistic about Sanosuke from the Keshin collab and he never went anywhere. Only time will tell.
Momiji’s uses are extremely limited with most of her value coming as an assist skill which is due to her awakening selection or lack thereof. As much as I love time extends and TPAs, the fact that they’re not complemented by any utility such as skill boosts or SBRs puts a rather large constraint on team building. This could be overlooked if she had high offensive potential. As far as double prongers are concerned, she has rather high base ATK at 1825 which puts her roughly in the top 10 in light, but most other cards on that list come with a much better selection of complementary awakenings to make up for the fact that they aren’t triple or quad prongers. I don’t think anyone with a developing Myr team is going to be sad to roll this card, and for that alone she has value, but in the end the rather common Saria is a better option. She also gives Awoken Apollo a quality board change option.
As an inherit, she is a solid choice, but there are options. Saria is generally better in light and Verdandi is about the same in wood. The only wood team I can think of that would care about also having light is the new Odin Dragon. Sylvie is a generally a better option, but 6-stars aren’t exactly easy to come by.
Much of which I said about Mito also applies here, but Sheena is inherently more powerful. Where bind utility is just that, utility, a two-color board is significantly more useful. Her active becomes more attractive once you realize that only three other cards have light two-color boards — Ilm, Ilmina and Avalon Drake — all of which are 6-stars or rarer. Dark two-color boards aren’t exactly common either; while most veterans have an RSonia or few, Sheena is the most common way for a new player to get one. Her killers are also relatively rare and only three other cards have such a combination: Aten, Sanosuke and Fuma Kotaro.
Does any of this translate into her being a good sub? Once again, I feel that if there’s anywhere she’d standout as a base sub it’d be for farming. In this way she’s similar to Barbara. Sadly, her killers don’t match up great against the dungeons where they’d be most useful, many machine dungeons having damage absorb and perseverance mechanics, but these can be worked around. As a regular sub, the newly announced revo Indra and Vritra immediately come to mind.
I’m still a bit conflicted about this REM. On one hand, the overall card quality is better, but I also don’t feel it’s good enough to justify the increased cost of rolling. While many of the cards are innately powerful, they just have so little practical use at the highest level that’s it’s hard to recommend rolling for them. I also discourage justifying rolls due to the MP return. While this is an undeniable perk, if what you’re rolling for is of questionable value, why would you roll in the first place? Although I guess if you buy into the notion that DAthena will eventually hit NA and you don’t want to manually farm the MP, I could be convinced that this isn’t a horrible idea. I’m sticking with my assertion that your decision to roll should come down to how much you think Ilmina will make a difference for you in the three months before the machine returns. I also don’t think the JP stream time has been announced yet, but considering the time difference there should be some overlap between the presumed announcement and the event’s end (like at least a day? Time zones are hard. It’s also likely this stream will be incredibly long with the juicy bits saved for the end). Although this doesn’t necessarily help the problem of them potentially introducing new cards into the machine.
Personally, I’ve been looking forward to this machine and still am, but with the upcoming buffs I’m setting my limit for rolls much lower. Like most people, I’m hoping to land a quick Ilmina and bailing, but we all know the REM doesn’t like to cooperate and at a ~2% rate, I don’t expect it to.