A new update released today for Fire Emblem Heroes adds a new feature, weapon refines, and an update to Aether Raids.

The new feature, called Heroes' Path, is less of a gameplay mode and more like a series of quests. Heroes' Path is specifically designed toward new players and gives them rewards for doing things they would normally be doing anyway, like summoning new heroes, leveling up, and completing story missions. Completing all the Heroes' Path quests will earn a player 32 orbs and four heroes — Reinhardt: Thunder's Fist, Ninian: Oracle of Destiny, Eirika: Anamnesis Lady, and Ike: Brave Mercenary — making it worth the time of both new and veteran players. All the heroes earned are of five-star ranking, and veterans will note that they're all really, really good. Reinhardt has been a meta staple in PvP modes since the dawn of time, and Brake Ike is great on his own or as a fodder hero for his Steady Breath skill. His new weapon refine, detailed further below, makes him arguably the best tank in the game. Dancers like Ninian are welcome on any team, and Eirika is a strong choice for a player-phase red mage.

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Aether Raids have received a small, but meaningful update. Players will now have the choice to spend twice the Aether to earn twice the Lift, a calculated gamble that will certainly pay off for veteran summoners with top-tier heroes. Healing Tower (O/D) and Escape Ladder (O) have had their level caps raised to five and four respectively. Intelligent Systems also added three more songs to Aether Resort and increased the hero cap to 11.

via: forbes.com

Now for the real meat of the update: weapon refines. The original generation of Brave heroes — Roy, Ike, Lucina, and Lyn, have received weapon refines to varying degrees of strength. Each Brave hero already fills a certain role, and the refines make them even better at it. Perhaps the biggest winner is Ike, whose weapon refine reduces the damage from a foe's first attack by 40%, and allows a foe to make a follow-up attack before Ike can. This takes Ike's already potent tanking ability to the maximum. His weapon, Urvan, already reduces follow-up damage by 80%. Paired together with his default skillset, Ike will be able to use Aether with any enemy that engages him on the enemy-phase, restoring his own health and dealing massive damage. Now that every player can summon a free copy of him by completing Heroes' Path quests, it's never been a better time to earn some divine dew and tackle harder maps.

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The other heroes received much simpler refines. Brave Roy's refine (which was also given to Eliwood: Knight of Lycia as they share the same weapon) gives him a +7 bonus to speed and +10 defense when he initiates combat, strengthening him as an offensive unit. It also prevents foes from making a follow-up attack, although with +7 speed foes without special skills probably can't follow-up anyway. Lucina's refine grants +3 defense/resistance to nearby allies who deal physical damage and also grants them Special cooldown +1, increasing her support abilities even further. Finally, Lyn's refine grants a +4 bonus to all her stats if her speed is greater than her opponents (no matter what phase it is).

Lastly, IS added a new map in Tactics Drills.

That's all that was added to the 3.9.0 update, but IS has already announced upcoming content too. Starting tomorrow players will be able to summon heroes from the "A Splendid Soiree" banner, which includes alts for Reinhardt, Berkut, Ishtar, and Nephenee. A new Tempest Trial will also be added, where players can earn Rinea: Reminiscent Belle.

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