I wonder why the Sternritter were so surprised when Yhwach deemed them unnecessary and began to sacrifice them for those he does deem worthy. The Sternritter were probably around long enough to realise what type of person Yhwach was, especially seeing as they were around long enough to put their belief in him. Yhwach was pretty transparent in how he does things, if he doesn’t agree with something, he makes sure he is heard out, so it was expected that when he came to the conclusion that the Sternritter aren’t doing what he expected, he would put into motion a plan to remedy that and in this case it was transferring the power he bestowed on the Sternritter to those he deems worthy. With the Royal Guard on the back-foot, it seems like a great moment for Ichigo and Co. to show up and utilise some Hollow power to combat the power-up Sternritter.
I still don’t get why Yhwach didn’t invade Seireitei with this plan from the start, rather than 26 average Sternritter, why not consolidate all that power into 4-5 Sternritter and invade with that? That way, the Shinigami who had a chance before would be annihilated now. I guess Kubo-sensei needed to develop the story in a surprising way, but it just makes Yhwach seem like a massive fool for not putting forward his best cards from the start. Hell, all the time he is wasting trying to get to the Soul King gave Ichigo the time necessary to power-up and get to the Soul King Palace.
Lille pretty much gave away the weakness to his ability, “anything and everything between the gunpoint and the target will be pierced through without prejudice”. All anyone who ends up fighting him has to do is make sure they avoid being in the focus of the gunpoint. Ohetsu should have been able to avoid those shots, but I guess he was still under the misconception that he could split the “bullets” which ultimately led him to omit dodging and instead decided to cut it.
Anyway seeing as the theme of Bleach is characters giving away their weaknesses and telling their opponents how to defeat them, the others three Sternritter in the “Elite Force” will also end up giving away the secrets to their abilities.
With the Sternritter on the verge of reaching the Soul King and the Royal Guard in a troublesome situation, it seems an appropriate time for the Fullbring and Ichigo and Co. to show up. Hollow abilities will play a big part in combating the Sternritter and stopping Yhwach, so those who can wield such powers will be valuable in these final battles. Looking forward the next chapter and seeing how Ichibei will handle Yhwach.