A new decade may be upon us, but there is still one constant in the world – weekly updates to Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (FFBE). This year brings plenty of new FFBE units to keep the fan base interested as it comes up to its fourth anniversary of release in July. There are plenty of original characters, collaborations, and Final Fantasy crossovers to look forward to. Here are some of the most hyped from the Japanese version below.
FFBE Units Releasing in 2020
Madam Edel should be released rather early in the year based on the Japanese release schedule of FFBE units. Edel has made some minor appearances throughout some of the story parts of Season 2, and she even has her own side quest focused on her manor.
Edel was the first “Non-CG” FFBE Original character released as a “Summon Festival” unit. Luckily, Summon Fests didn’t make it to Global, but that is another topic for another day. She is an extremely powerful and rather unique character.
She is a True Dual Wield unit who favors guns and fists, and her Trust Master Reward (TMR) gives her stat boosts when doing so. At least in the Japanese version, her chaining families are Aureole Ray (AR) and Stardust Ray (SR). She also has some cooldown abilities that increase her abilities’ damage modifiers and the effect can’t be dispelled.
Finally, Madam Edel gets charm resistance at max-level, and her Super Trust Master Reward (STMR) grants the wearer stop resistance.
Right around the fourth-year anniversary of the game, “Esper Units” dropped. These were many of the familiar protagonists from the first two seasons like Rain, Lasswell, and Akstar, paired up with espers like Ifrit, Diablos, and Shiva. While most of them are powerful enough, no doubt the most intriguing is Alexander Charlotte. The pairing makes perfect sense, as Alexander is a foreboding magical castle, and Charlotte is one of the most lovable tanks.
The original 3* version of Charlotte was a physical tank. Her 5* CG version, Sacred Shield Charlotte shifted gears and made her a magic tank (one of the least used roles in the game). Well, her esper-paired version gives her the best of both worlds. She has both physical and magic cover moves, as well as a draw attack ability. To make things more interesting, both cover moves restore HP to the party.
Charlotte even has some cooldown moves that break, buff, and cover either physical or magic damage. She does seem to lean a bit more towards physical tanking though, as her defense stat is a bit higher, and her Limit Burst (LB) is a physical cover move. Regardless, Alexander Charlotte will be one of the top tank FFBE units upon her release.
Looking at the collaborations the Japanese version got, Valkyrie Profile is the next big name, though when it actually gets to Global is anyone’s guess. The two prizes of the banner are magic attackers Lezard Valeth and Mystina. More so, they usher in a mostly new chaining family, Mystic Cross (MC).
The cool thing about the two debuting on the banner with a new chaining family is that they immediately have partners other than duplicate units. Many of the other “meta” chain families had a period where there was only a single unit for a partner, like Orlandeau for Divine Ruination (DR) or Trance Terra for Chaos Wave (CW). Moving forward, most of the top magic users switch over to the MC family.
In terms of their skillset, Lezard has powerful fire, lightning, and dark chaining moves and can also debuff those same elements up to 120% with either his LB or cooldown moves. He is best used as a True Doublehand (TDH) unit and has killers against humans, fairies, and reapers.
Mystina is similar to Lezard in terms of chaining and debuffing fire and dark. However, instead of lightning, she gets a win elemental ability, and her LB focuses on damage rather than debuffing. It’s tough to predict when collaborations will drop in Global compared to the Japanese version, but it dropped a few months before their fourth anniversary.
Full Metal Alchemist
The Full Metal Alchemist collaboration could be one of the more interesting choices of the year. Though other games have done collaborations with anime series, FFBE has stuck mostly to video games. Full Metal Alchemist breaks away from the mold, and with it being a relatively recent collab on the Japanese front, it could pave the way towards more collaborations beyond just video games. The banner features the protagonist brothers Alphonse and Edward Elric, along with Roy Mustang.
First off, Alphonse, unsurprisingly due to his looks, is a physical tank. He doesn’t really do anything sexy but gets the job done with his nice stats. He even deals damage with a few SR abilities that also add mitigation and HP barriers. The problem is that the mitigations and barriers are only added to himself, making them a little less viable.
Edward is probably the flashier one of the banner as a True Dual Wield (TDW) chainer. He is relatively versatile, covering fire, water, wind, and earth elements, and even has a non-elemental ability. His cooldowns are solid, one of which grants him a 250% attack increase as well as triple-cast for five turns. His other is a chaining ability that increases the modifiers to some of his abilities.
Roy is not just the most unique unit of the banner, but one of the more unique units in FFBE. He is a rare magical finisher. The only one of note, really ever, is Emperor. However, Roy is more akin to Regina, a physical finisher. He has a penta-cast ability that lets him imbue human, demon, and beast killers along with other moves like fire debuffs and stat boosts. Of course, his final move should be his fire elemental damage move that won’t leave much standing if used to finish off a chain.
Final Fantasy Crossovers
Final Fantasy I
Although this is the first event of 2020, it is still worth mentioning due to the hype behind it. Many players have been stashing lapis, foregoing the recent Black Friday and Christmas events in the hopes to pull Awakened Warrior of Light. He basically ushers in a new tier of physical tanks. His stats are on another level, his physical cover and draw attacks has great mitigation, and he even has some SR and DR chaining moves.
But his utility doesn’t end there. He has abilities that do things like add an HP barrier, elemental resistance, and status ailment cures. Awakened Warrior of Light has four different cooldown abilities that do all of the above and more, including buffing spirit and defense and mitigating damage for the entire party.
Final Fantasy IV
Sticking with tanks who take things to the next level, Paladin Cecil is to magic tanks as Awakened Warrior of Light is to physical tanks. He has nice magic cover and mitigation abilities and gets some nice SR chaining moves that damage based on his spirit. Another interesting ability he gets is a light element imbue and LB gauge increase cooldown move.
He also has a ton of “conditional” skills that do things like give elemental resistance, LB gauge increase, defense and spirit buffs, and more! And they haven’t forgotten about his Dark Knight days! He can switch to Dark Knight mode and gain abilities that sacrifice HP to give various buffs to the party. Paladin Cecil will take the top spot as a magic tank for a long time.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Many wondered if Final Fantasy XIII-2 would ever get some love, since most of the sequels have not. Well, it finally did, as Serah was released along with her fellow time traveler Noel. Serah, being the protagonist of the game, gets her CG and is the prize of the banner. She is a magical chainer, taking advantage of the MC chaining family with wind, earth, and light abilities.
The best way to gear her is for TDH and she has a nice magic-based bow as her TMR. Her STMR, though best for her, is a materia that gives a ridiculous 100% increase to her magic when equipped with a bow. (It still gives 60% without a bow.) If that weren’t enough, it also gives 75% TDH boost to her magic.
Noel, despite not being a CG unit, is no pushover. He can dual wield almost any type of weapon (although his TMR is a spear) and chains with the Absolute Mirror of Equity (AMoE) family. His main elements are wind and ice, and is great against dragons and machine enemies. He also has a pretty cool ability that boosts his and another ally’s attack and LB fill rate
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
Anytime any banner involves a version of Cloud as an FFBE unit, there will be hype. The game already has the original Cloud, Kingdom Hearts Cloud, so the next move is to add Advent Children Cloud. This one finally seems to do the character justice, focusing on chaining and LB damage.
In line with him using two swords in Advent Children, this version is a TDW unit. He also finally gets some elemental chaining moves with imbues: earth and light. Both of them are SR abilities, but he also has a non-elemental SR move, and a non-elemental Octoslash move.
Tifa also comes back and more badass than ever. Like her original version, she has lightning, water, and non-elemental abilities. This time, they are finally given a respectable chaining family, Stardust Ray. And let’s get this straight: she’s the real powerhouse of Advent Children. Just watch her fight scene:
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII boasts a special feat in the FFBE world: it was the first event to boast 7* units! This is likely to make up for the fact that there were exactly zero FFVIII units in the game prior to that. The event saw the release of Squall, Rinoa, and Zell. But since then, there have also been zero additional characters added. While units like Cloud are on their third version, and even villains like Exdeath and Kefka have gotten a second version, Edea didn’t even get a whisper four years into the game’s life.
Well, she still hasn’t been announced at the time of this article’s publication, but at least Squall got his second release with a CG LB. Luckily this time he was at least accompanied by a few more units, including Seifer, Quistis, and Fujin & Raijin (the latter two being released as a dual unit).
Squall is obviously most people’s preferred pull on the banner and gets SR frames with fire, lightning, and wind chaining abilities. Like many CG protagonists, they are chainers but also focus on LB damage. His TMR gives a solid 50% TDH boost, but also a nice 50% increase to LB damage. His STMR is a great sword that further boosts his TDH and LB damage.
Seifer is an interesting unit who actually has 50 percent innate evasion and adds more with his TMR and STMR. He has three chaining families, AMoE, MC, and BS, and his elements are earth and dark. Interestingly, he has a draw attack chaining move, meaning some might try making him a dodge tank if they wish. The ability only lasts one turn though, so it would have to be re-used every turn.
This banner was the first to drop in the new year for the Japanese version. Unfortunately, it means Global is a long way off from getting it. Patience will be key here!