Power creep is a normal part of the Gacha life cycle and any character faces risk of becoming replaced by the shiny new character with a kit just like the old character, but better. Today we compare the newest 5★ addition to Dragalia Lost, and the old 4★ she is created to replace.

[dl adv="thaniel"] Good ol' Thaniel

From a pure numerical standpoint, Thaniel is the worst healer applicable in the High Dragon Trials. However, he was the only burn resist healer available for the past 14 months and the timeline of standard High Brunhilda (HBH) was designed such that a well invested Thaniel can manage to heal through the fight but anything less lead to teammates exploding, even when your rotations are on-point. Not many were willing to invest in a healer, especially when Eldwater was scarce and High Mercury was not yet an option. These factors combined lead to a scarcity of Thaniel in the wild and gave him a reputation of being hard to play.

Following HBH's initial release, the introduction of double Wyrmprints and release of The Chocolatiers [dl wp="the_chocolatiers"] allowed Thaniel to use his S2 before the opening blast and significantly lower the HP check, then immediately heal the team and cleanse any burns with S1. A lesser quality of life change for Thaniel players is the release of Halloween Maritimus [dl d="h_maritimus"]. With 35% skill haste, Thaniel can fit in one extra heal between the post Hellfire chaser/stack and the Grand Muspelheim, bringing the team to full HP for the incoming stack/chaser.

Thaniel's S1 burn cleanse and S2 defense up utility is the main reason why he remained the go-to healer for expert HBH, but his high investment cost compared to High Midgardsormr (HMS) healer is once again apparent. As he is bound to a limited Wyrmprint, not all players who own Thaniel can actually build and use Thaniel effectively. This brings us to the star of the current banner, Jiang Ziya.

[dl adv="jiang_ziya"] Jiang Ziya(姜子牙), but as a Cute Girl™

Character Summary:
S1 [5916 sp]: 108% potency teamwide heal with burn removal, identical to Thaniel
S2 [11832 sp]: 20% defense up and 29% potency regen, for 15s
  • A1: 100% Skill Prep
  • A2: 100% Burn Res
  • A3: HP 70% = +15% Healing

As one can tell, Jiang Ziya has Thaniel's kit but with built-in 100% prep and a second healing skill in S2 while retaining the defense up and burn cleanse utilities. The higher cost of S2 is negligible as the defense up is usually held for key points instead of used on cooldown. Thus she is able heal through HBH with lower investment than Thaniel and no reliance on a limited print.  A regen heal comes with some neat perks, such as the ability to quickly activate Resiliant Offense [dl wp="dear_diary"] multiple times on burnable characters and keep teammates at full HP through the cano/hellfire phase, which helps Lily [dl adv="lily"] keep up her full HP = strength passive. Having two open print slots allows her to bring cool utilities like dragon prep [dl wp="the_bridal_dragon"] to align dragon with break, force charge [dl wp="castle_cheer_corps"] for an emergency heal, and straight up use offensive STR prints [dl wp="crystalian_envoy"] [dl wp="wily_warriors_bubble_and_wood"] in conjunction with [dl d="leviathan"] for some personal DPS.

Having said all of this...

Is Jiang Ziya worth rolling for?

Jiang Ziya is without a doubt better healer for HBH, given her "Thaniel, but more" kit. However in my opinion, she is not worth chasing. There are two main justification for this assessment.  

First, Thaniel's healing issues are largely limited to expert HBH. Master HBH has less forced damage than expert, such that he can run [dl d="leviathan"] without issue. Jiang Ziya has slight advantage in a second print slot here, but neither of them will fail to heal enough and the DPS teammates need to up their game if a healer's DPS make or break the run.

Secondly, we now have Gala Elisanne who brings 2 defensive coability worth of damage mitigation in her s2 along with 1 actual defensive coability as an axe user. With healing enough being no longer the issue, Jiang Ziya's remaining advantage is her innate 100% prep. If you really really want to play healer in HBH right at this very moment but lack Chocolatiers, feel free to chase her.

Extra: a Few Tips to Healing in HBH

Expert:

Build
  • 50mc is a given for expert/master HDT, even if Jiang Ziya doesnt necessarily need max coab. Aim to heal at least 1200 HP with S1, more the better.
  • Dragon: [dl d="h_maritimus"] or [dl d="simurgh"][dl d="high_mercury"][dl d="poseidon"] or [dl d="leviathan"].
  • Weapon: HDT T1/T2 Staff [dl w="unceasing_tide"][dl w="oceans_embrace"] or Core 4t3 Staff [dl w="marine_staff"]
  • Wyrmprints:
    • Bound to Thaniel [dl wp="the_chocolatiers"] Thaniel 60mc when
    • Mitigate damage with [dl wp="volcanic_queen"][dl wp="study_rabbits"][dl wp="crystalian_envoy"], use whatever you need to get through the various HP checks.
    • Bring utility through [dl wp="the_bridal_dragon"] for dprep and [dl d="leviathan"] dragonform damage on break or [dl wp="castle_cheer_corps"][dl wp="sisters_day_out"] for emergency healing.
    • Going offensive with [dl wp="wily_warriors_bubble_and_wood"] is not a bad idea when using [dl d="leviathan"], though Thaniel is unlikely to have space for it.
General Tips & Rotation
  • Above all else, remember the timeline so you can to react to unexpected situations.
  • If you are using HDT Staff, only use S3 for iframe, such as when HBH breath is baited towards you.
  • If one of the DPS took too much damage and there's an incoming stack, sacrifice your dragon (or yourself) to tank it.
  • In pubs it is expected for the healer to cancel Crimson Inferno (AKA dives). To do so, run all the way to the opposite side of the map at specific times. Cancel doesnt work if HBH is not at the edge and has a chance of failure, be prepared to roll twice if you see the text.
  • 1st dive cancel: after initial breath & dash, start running when HBH does a claw attack.
  • 2nd dive cancel: start running when the text Volcanic Blitz appears.
  • 3rd and 4th dives occur immediately after HBH fires meteors into the air. Thaniel cannot cancel 3rd due to SP reasons outlined below, but Jiang has enough healing and can do whatever she wants. HBH tends to not be at an edge for dive 4, either hope for melees to push her to edge or just don't dive cancel here and instead bait the dive away from any Lilies.
  • The usual combo to charge S1 is c5 c5 c5, [dl d="h_maritimus"] reduces it to c5 c5 c2. This is mainly important for Thaniel, as it turns his 2 S1 between stack 1 and Grand Muspelheim into 3 S1, the timings are roughly:
    • S1 after chaser, then run to stack and do c2~3.
    • Roll away from HBH right after stack to avoid knockback.
    • Do c5 c5 S1 while melee baiter handles meteors + dive, be prepared for short dive should your baiter choose not to dive cancel.
    • Get c5 c5 c2 S1 out before HBH flies up for Grand Mus, though it is not end of the world if you miss the mark by a little bit.
    • Spend the time waiting for stack 2 recharging your S1, making sure to cast S2 of course.
  • If your team is able to break HBH during the period above, then your job becomes significantly easier.

Master:

Build
  • The weapon and print recommendations are same as Expert, but [dl d="leviathan"] is the prefered dragon due to the lower heal check. In a team where there are no other sources of bog, your dragonform is exceedingly valuable on break. Should the team already have other sources of bog, [dl d="h_maritimus"] is worth considering for his powerful skill damage buff.
General Tips & Rotation
  • As with expert, try your best to remember the timeline.
  • Dives cannot be canceled by running across the map, however a host player on "Normal" graphical setting is able to spin cancel the dives. To do so, start running around her at constant speed shortly after the first and second breaths. Listen for footstep sounds and count number of time HBH pauses up to 3 to know whether you have cancelled all 3 dives. Practice this in solo before trying it out in coop. It is not expected of you to cheese dives like this in pubs, as it only works when you are hosting and has a much higher chance to fail than the run-across-map dive cancel.
  • When baiting the triple dives, determine whether you are the farthest before HBH figures out who is the farthest. When dodging, always roll perpendicularly instead of towards or away from HBH, to avoid death desync as much as possible. When trying for a clear with the same group, bait the dives to the same spots each time so that your team don't have to react to unexpected situations.
  • The main causes of death in MHBH is hellfire cano desync, dive desync, and XMuspelheim meteors, none of which are things you can help with. It is enough that you practice and avoid these mistakes yourself. Heal timings are fairly lax, as long as you remember to S2 before any forced damage, and S1 when your team aren't at full HP.