Check out the change log for details on tier list changes!
Extremely powerful Servants whose general performance can compete even with higher rarity Servants.
Far from being just a token character for story purposes, Mash is a highly reliable support Servant. As a Shielder, Mash has no class weaknesses while packing a skill set that provides plenty of defensive support, making her highly valuable for challenging battles. Her Noble Phantasm, with its powerful party defense buffs, has high uptime thanks to the massive NP generation buff on Shield of Rousing Resolution, and is also upgraded after a certain part of the story. In general, her skill set and NP make Mash one of the best in the business at improving the survivability of the entire party, or protecting a dedicated damage dealer. Her own lack of any Party Cost gives her even more fantastic value as she can be slotted into any backline seamlessly, either to serve as a Craft Essence holder for Bond / Event farming or as an emergency backup when things go south.
While this cute eggplant might have some slight issues, like her story-locked progression and her poor damage potential, they are trivial compared to the sheer defensive value that she brings to the table.
An iconic demigod hero and the embodiment of strength, the greatest hero of Greece is a powerful Berserker with exceptionally rare endurance to match. Despite being one of the launch Servants, Heracles’ simple but highly effective skill set has ensured his relevance at the higher echelon of Servants for a long time.
Heracles is exceptionally newbie friendly, as most of his skills are quite straightforward. Thanks to his class, his Madness Enhancement, his triple Buster card deck, his great offensive stats, and Valor boosting his Attack, Heracles will hit very hard by a normal Servant’s standards. However, hitting hard is part of the standard job description for Berserkers. What sets this demigod apart from his peers is his tenacity. Packing both a Guts from Battle Continuation and an on-demand Dodge from Mind’s Eye (Fake), Heracles can stay on the field a lot longer than most of his peers. To further emphasize this strength, he possesses arguably the strongest Bond Craft Essence in the game: Castle of Snow, which provides a three-time Guts at the start of the battle, making him one of the best last man standing candidates for tough content.
But even the mightiest hero has weaknesses, and Heracles is no exception. Firstly, the lack of longer-lasting Defense buffs to counteract his class’s innate frailty makes him susceptible to stray critical hits when his defensive tools are not up. Secondly, Heracles does not offer any form of utility at all to the team, which can limit the team’s capacity to adapt to certain situations. Last but not least, while his damage against general enemies is good, he does not have the same offensive ceiling that other more specialized damage dealers possess.
Overall, Heracles is a fantastic Servant for any Master. His combination of sheer damage and endurance makes him a premier pick for many Challenge Quests as the last man standing, and he can carry newer Masters through the early stages for a long time. When things get tough, this great hero will rarely let you down.
"I’ll send ya flyin’! BEAR HOWLING! GOLDEN DRIVE! GOOD NIGHT!"
Local Golden Boy joins a biker gang and transforms into a Quick oriented tokusatsu hero. Despite the class change, not only does Sakata Kintoki (Rider) still charge fast and hit hard with his Quick NP, but he also transforms into a self-sufficient star generator who can deal GOLDEN crits of justice.
Frankly, Kintoki (Rider)’s kit comes together wonderfully and delivers a welfare Servant nearly unmatched by any other. His first main strength is that Kintoki can charge his NP incredibly fast with his 50% NP charge in Animal Communication. In addition, his NP Gain is incredible, with hit counts that make great use of them. Long-Distance Dash and the pre-NP Overcharge on Golden Drive further boost his impressive Quick cards, while the Star Generation buff on Long-Distance Dash allows Kintoki to generate impressive sums of Critical Stars for a Rider. Not only will his Rider Star weight also attract all these Critical Stars to him for more damage, but they will boost his NP Generation into Overdrive as well. Lastly, his welfare Quick Servant status and high base Attack ensure his NP hits hard as well.
Naturally, Kintoki does have some flaws. His durability is pretty poor all things considered, with his lack of hard survival being very noticeable if he is used during challenging content. Furthermore, outside of spamming his NP, he is also rather dependant on supports to improve either his critical damage or the performance of his non-Quick cards. While his non-Quick cards are still excellent, his Quick cards are simply on a whole other level.
With his strong offensive presence and generous welfare status, Kintoki (Rider) is a GOLDEN role model to children, F/GO players, and servants alike. In fact, Masters must take caution not to lean on this GOLDEN man too much and neglect their other Servants.
Altria Pendragon Lancer Alter joins Chaldea as an alternate (in both ways) version of an Altria Pendragon who wielded the spear Rhongomyniad instead of the sword Excalibur. Boasting high AoE Buster NP damage with access to good damage steroids, she can clear enemy waves with ease. In addition, she has access to an all-in-one critical steroid skill, which enables her to function amazingly in a critical team as well.
However, Lancer Alter lacks a good way to charge her NP with only one Arts card in her kit. Her own star generation is also not sufficient as even with two three-hit Quick cards, she can’t consistently produce enough stars for the critical burst she has. Fortunately, the stars obtained from Protection of World’s End can help her push for just enough during her burst turns. Thus, she ideally needs low star weight Servants who can help her either charge her NP, or generate extra stars. If supported properly though, Lancer Alter becomes one of the most high-impact damage dealers in one’s Chaldea.
One of the best welfare Servants in the game and easily the best 4 star Assassin, Shiki is a well-rounded Arts-focused Assassin that focuses on single target damage.Thanks to her good amount of hit counts, NP generation rate, Art-focused deck, and her Yin-Yang skill, Shiki has no problem generating NP bar and can spam her Noble Phantasm endlessly in an Arts team. Her star generation is also not bad either, enough for her to work well on her own or provide support to teammates. With her natural critical damage buffs from Mind's Eye and Independent Action, Shiki can also function as an Arts critical damage dealer. To round it off, Shiki also has an on-demand dodge, making her well-suited for tough fights.
All in all, Shiki is a consistent and powerful boss killer in Arts team, but can work well independently of team support.
With a kit overloaded with powerful passives, multiple skill effects and an overpowering Defense-piercing NP, Raikou (Lancer) is at the very forefront of 4* Servants. With an utterly impressive Arts card, strong, even self-sustained to a dgeree, Critical potential, strong sustained damage and even extremely viable targetable Buster support, Raikou can practically do all offensive roles.
Still, she is not perfect. She lacks any survival skills whatsoever, and she is fairly draw dependent when it comes to unleashing her full damage potential or charging her NP Gauge with that bonker single Arts card. Either way, she has a firm hold here with an unanimous placement into Tier 1 as her performance at NP1 is exceedingly powerful.
The de facto Avenger slayer in the game, BB is the only member of the elusive Mooncancer class for now. Despite having relatively mediocre attack and consequently lackluster damage output, BB makes up for it with a stellar supportive skill set that thrives in any stalling or NP spamming team, acting as one of the best NP batteries in the game for lengthy battles. In addition, her status as a welfare servant ensures her NP hurts regardless.
There are very few Servants in the game that can match what BB offers, and even then her unique combination of class, utility, and welfare status makes her extremely valuable for any Master.
A version of Lancelot summoned in his prime as peerless swordsman. An offensive Arts-based single-target powerhouse, Lancelot has an ST NP backed up with a kit that is entirely focused on generating, absorbing and then massively critting with stars. Despite mediocre generation stats, these criticals in turn enable him to employ his NP at regular intervals. Yet, what truly elevates Lancelot is that he can do this on his own with a consistency few Servants can even come close to. When Lancelot’s skills are activated, he can rival even the stronger 5* Sabers.
But Lancelot does have some (manageable) problems. None of his skills provide anything even associated with defense. He will have to rely on his allies to supply defensive buffs. Furthermore, when Lancelot’s skills are on cooldown, he will have problems generating enough NP gauge and will generally pick his nose until said skills come off cooldown again. Finally, aside from the in-built Arts buff on his NP and his critical hits, Lancelot has no other way to boost his damage.
Borrowing the form of a certain nameless ally of justice, Chloe von Einzbern (more commonly known as Kuro) joins Chaldea as one of the best welfare Servants in the game. As an easily accessible NP5 ST Arts Archer, Kuro can devastate enemies with her easily charged and high damage NP. Not only does her Kissing Freak give her up to 50% NP charge on demand, it also massively increases her star generation. She can then use these stars to deal critical hits. Furthermore, Kuro sports a good affinity for these critical hits due to her Archer Class and access to a separate critical damage-boosting skill tied to her dodge. Coupled with her Projection Magic, which boosts the performance of all of her command cards, Kuro turns into an NP-spamming, high damage, critical monster. A monster that is able to use her crits to deal damage while charging her NP at the same time (if her 6-Hit Arts cards manage to crit).
However, the majority of Kuro’s NP uptime comes from her Kissing Freak and her 6-Hit Arts cards. If Kissing Freak is on cooldown and she can’t draw her Arts cards, she may have trouble generating NP. Nevertheless, Kuro’s monstrous NP damage, NP uptime, critical niche, and the fact that she’s a welfare Servant means she is very much welcome in Chaldea.
Excellent Servants with strong all-around performance, or especially valuable niches. They are typically among the best in their class among the 4* Servants.
With strong NP Damage from her various Quick boosts, Ishtar packs a strong NP5 welfare punch even amongst the crowded Rider Welfare Servant list. Yet, it's her combination of this AoE damage, critical potential, hard survival and good all-around teamwide support that elevates her from middle of the pack to a great pick. Sadly, her poor Quick card performance and resultant NP Gain does hold her back a bit from being among the cream of the crop.
It is rare that a Servant has a skill set as synergistic as Passionlip’s. The combination of Defense buffs, Debuff Immunity, short-cooldown Taunt, Self-Healing and Damage Cut makes Passionlip highly durable, and capable of functioning as a dedicated team protector. Her Buster-centric deck and self-buffs also allow her to dish out decent damage on the side through the use of Buster supports. As Buster options are typically few against Casters and Assassins, this added flexibility is a welcome addition.
Passionlip does have a few minor flaws in return, namely the lackluster damage ceiling on her Noble Phantasm before her NP Upgrade and her Alter Ego classing not granting resistance to any class to synergize with her tanking niche. However, these demerits are not significant enough to devalue her many strengths.
With excellent hit counts on her Buster cards, her NP Gain potential is rather good. Factor in her teamwide support, very short cooldown Critical steroid (that synergizes extremely well with Buster Critical supports like Merlin), and decent survival for a Berserker, and Nobunaga's kit works very well as a sustained offensive Buster Berserker. In addition, she has a wide niche in anti-Divinity bonus damage.
Still, her pure damage performance by herself is rather lackluster, being dependent on supports to bring her up to par with competing Berserker. Plus, charging her NP Gauge does often mean making use of an ABB chain, which does a fair bit lower damage without the Buster start. Nonetheless a great Berserker for any piece of harder content if provided with the Buster Critical supports.
Frankenstein (Saber) packs both strong base NP Gain performance, good hit counts and an utterly amazing NP Gain boost. Her NP spam potential, especially under the influence of Quick Performance buffs and good card draws, is excellent and her own 3-turn steroids ensure each NP in that 3-turn window seriously hurt. In addition, she packs some ever-useful utility in a targeted buff removal, all the while her NP spam has serious stun-lock potential.
Still, her various demerits and difficulty using Galvanism optimally at NP1 hold her back a bit, but she's a stellar Quick Servant that will only see her performance become stronger and stronger as better Quick supports arrive.
It is quite apt to called Emiya (Alter) the four-star equivalent of Altria Pendragon (Archer). Packing fantastic NP generation and powerful NP refund, Emiya (Alter) can spam his strong defense-piercing Arts Noble Phantasm on a frequent basis. Add in his two strong self-buffs, high durability, and good stalling potential with his Noble Phantasm effect, and we get one of the most consistent damage dealers amongst 4 Star Servant.
On the other hand, he does not possess any form of team support whatsoever and his main utility is unreliable with a low base chance of NP draining. Due to his low base Attack stats, his offensive output outside of his Noble Phantasm is also quite lackluster compared to other 4 Star Archer Servants who can do more than just shooting off their Noble Phantasm. Nonetheless, these flaws are quite minor when he is put into the right setup, and Emiya (Alter) remains a highly valuable pick for any Masters lacking a solid single target Archer.
"With each victory, one's armor grows heavier with glory and sin.”
Hero and tyrant, man of faith and Lord Impaler. Vlad III (EXTRA) embodies the warrior side of the Prince of Wallachia, the one who resolutely dyed himself in blood and brought terror to Mehmed the Conqueror’s mighty Turkish army. As a versatile single-target Buster offensive Servant, Vlad’s combination of utility and damage makes him a reliable addition to Buster-oriented teams.
Vlad’s most notable strength is his versatility, in that he has the tools to handle a wide variety of situations due to his diverse skill set. His ability to draw enemy attacks for a turn with Innocent Monster is especially valuable, as it allows him to protect vulnerable support Servants. His NP damage is also quite high, particularly against Evil enemies. When Kazikli Bey’s anti-Evil bonus damage is combined with the offensive boosts from Protection of the Faith and Tactics, Vlad’s damage becomes quite impressive. Additionally, Vlad’s ability to both keep himself alive and sustain his damage output over multiple turns makes him a strong offensive Servant in longer fights.
In exchange for his significant versatility and utility, however, Vlad has lower overall damage output than most comparable offensive Servants, especially when he is unable to take advantage of his anti-Evil bonus damage. With relatively weak innate damage boosts and a strong-but-short-lived defensive boost, Vlad has a good base skillset but is lacking the pieces he needs to truly shine offensively or defensively. While he has a wide range of tools, his lack of focus leaves him dependent on support Servants in order to function at maximum effectiveness.
All in all, Vlad excels as a general-purpose damage-dealer, particularly against Evil enemies or in fights where additional team survivability is necessary. He is neither the best offensive Servant nor the best at protecting the team, but his ability to draw fire from support Servants while still providing respectable damage is often highly valuable.
Frankenstein(’s Monster) enters Chaldea as Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s attempt at creating Eve. An AoE Berserker with her near universal 1.5x damage, Fran is specialized in clearing enemy waves which makes her a good Servant in farming lineups. She accomplishes her task in two general playstyles. She can be used as a one-time burst damage dealer, owing to her monstrous damage with her NP damage steroid. Alternatively, she can also be used in a team which specifically plays around her
However, as with all Berserkers, Fran is a glass cannon. With no options for defense whatsoever, she’s forced to rely on her teammates to keep her alive. Her NP has a big demerit in that it stuns her, preventing her from acting for a turn. Coupled with the Burn demerit of her damage steroid, Fran ideally wants a debuff cleanser to function well.
Overall, Fran deals insane amounts of AoE damage, but in exchange has demerits which forces Masters to build around them. Nevertheless, good teambuilding will allow for Fran to make the most of her highly destructive kit.
Even with fierce competition from other Berserkers, Berserker of El Dorado stands out with a strong combination of offensive steroids, NP battery, team support, and even debuff immunity. Furthermore, her simple but clear and destructive gameplay allows her to fit in very well into most Buster composition, and work well even on her own. While her biggest flaw - Survivability - is quite magnified by her lack of defensive option and Berserker inherent frailty, it is not difficult to work around with proper supports and team building.
All in all, Berserker of El Dorado is a strong, well-designed representative of the Berserker’s “Offense is the Best Defense” Philosophy.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Excalibur Morgan all the way! In an effort to improve her image, Altria Alter has decided to become Santa Claus and spread holiday cheer (violently). Along with a class change to Rider, this seasonal counterpart roughly copies the skill set and AoE Noble Phantasm of the original. Most notably, Santa Alter has access to the powerful Excalibur Morgan, which boasts a higher damage multiplier than almost any other Buster AoE NP.
In terms of features, Santa Alter trades some of Altria Alter’s offense for a more balanced kit. With Saint’s Gift, Santa Alter can heal a target for a substantial amount and slightly buff their star generation for 3 turns. Intuition can instantly supply some critical stars, which her Rider-class star weight easily attracts to herself. Finally, the requisite Mana Burst is a welcome addition to power up her Noble Phantasm.
Sadly, the balanced nature of her skill set actually works somewhat against her, as her primary purpose is simply to blast the enemy with her superb Noble Phantasm. In the end, she only really has access to one additional short-lived steroid by herself for this purpose. Furthermore, Santa Alter’s NP generation is fairly average, which further limits her use during longer and/or challenging combat. Nevertheless, such a powerful Noble Phantasm makes her one of the best easily available farming Servants when pure damage is the key factor.
Reflecting his change in personality (and choice of arsenal), the Wise King of Uruk trades his Archer self’s sheer damage potential for massive team support capability. In this guise Gilgamesh (Caster) hosts an incredible array of support buffs for the entire party in the form of Star Generation Up, DEF Up, ATK Up, Arts Performance Up, Debuff Success Rate Up, and DEF Down on enemies. His Star Generation Up in particular is a rare find, as it allows reliable star generation via multi-hit Arts cards, addressing one of the core weaknesses of Arts-oriented critical teams. However, unlike his pure support cousins Gilgamesh (Caster) still benefits from his own buffs, allowing him to fill in as a hybrid damage dealer when the situation calls for it.
Due to his focus on party buffs, Gilgamesh (Caster) does need a party that is able to capitalize on the support in his kit, as his effectiveness decreases greatly otherwise. While still a decent Arts damage support, he finds himself hard-pressed to gain NP without frequent Arts chains, partially due to the fact that his already mediocre NP gain is further halved on his multi-hit NP. His defense buffs are also tied to said NP and by themselves not enough to sustain a whole team. Furthermore, he has relatively long skill cooldowns, which can pose a major problem in longer fights where properly rotating the party’s skills becomes an important factor.
All things considered, Gilgamesh (Caster) is a Servant who shines in carefully crafted (Arts) teams, but using him thoughtlessly wastes much of the Wise King’s potential. He excels particularly at offensively supporting Arts critical Servants, but can also fit into semi-stall teams as a damage dealer.
“My blood is boiling… Literally!”
Ibaraki-Douji, the burning demon from Mount Oe, is a uniquely interesting servant. Initially introduced as a raid boss in the Rashomon event, Ibaraki functions as a powerful ST Buster Berserker who balances the class’s usual defensive disadvantages with a survival-oriented skill set.
Pairing a triple-Buster card deck with a single-target NP and the powerful dual steroid on Demonic Nature of Oni, Ibaraki has the strong potential damage output expected of a Berserker. She also benefits from good survivability relative to most servants in her class thanks to the combination of Morph’s Defense buff and Disengage’s heal and debuff clear. Combined with the ability to remove enemy buffs with Great Grudge of Rashomon, Ibaraki serves as a well-rounded damage-dealer for Buster-oriented teams.
Despite her decent base NP generation, Ibaraki’s card deck hinders her ability to fill her NP gauge without the help of supports, making it difficult for her to sustain her damage output over multiple turns. Additionally, Disengage is underwhelming relative to the rest of Ibaraki’s skill set, as the additional bulk it provides is fairly small. Ibaraki also has no way to protect herself from being bullied by enemy NPs, which again leaves her dependent on supports.
Overall, Ibaraki has the potential to be a powerful Buster servant when properly supported. She needs help to charge her NP gauge and to fend off enemy NPs, but with those problems solved, she has high damage against most targets and is unlikely to fall to normal attacks.
The legendary Hindu hero Rama is an offensive single-target Saber that has a penchant for doing explosively high damage once in awhile. With high Attack, a stellar first skill to make him deadly at dealing Critical Damage, a Buster single-target Noble Phantasm with great coverage, a teamwide Attack buff, and high base stats overall, Rama has very strong damage output across the board. He is also quite durable thanks to his third skill, allowing him to be one of a few great picks for many tough battles when combined with his offensive capacity.
Rama however is not without flaws. He has a standard Saber deck in BBAAQ with a very mediocre hit count, NP generation per hit, and Star generation per hit. This results in him being rather vanilla and lacking at other aspects. Rama will often find himself struggling to get to 100% NP bar, or to generate any worthy sum of critical stars to fuel his rampage. Thankfully, most of his faults can be solved with great team support and Craft Essences, but nonetheless he can be frustrating to use.
“My purpose in life is to search for the truth! Come, let’s go!"
If Hans could be seen as a budget Merlin, then this practitioner of the occult would be best defined as the foremost budget Waver. Featuring highly valuable support effects but with colossal cooldowns, Helena is an Arts-based Support hybrid with a potent AoE Arts NP.
Helena offers a variety of rare, medium-strength support tools that are especially ideal for any farming team. Her Search for the Unknown offers a boost to the performance of all card types for the team, while Mana Tuning charges the NP gauge of the entire team by up to 20%. In addition, Mahatma provides a small sum of critical stars per turn to the team, but also packs a large chance-based NP Damage steroid. Combined with her NP Upgrade after her Interlude, Helena is capable of unleashing AoE NP damage rivaling that of higher rarity Caster Servants, with Sanat Kumara itself plastering a few more effective debuffs unto the enemy.
Unfortunately, while the effects of all of Helena’s skills are very good, they are limited by their absurdly long cooldowns, making her not as effective as competing supports for encounters that last longer than a few turns. Furthermore, her longevity is hamstrung by her otherwise mediocre NP gain on her Arts and Extra cards - although her Quick card is very impressive. Lastly, apart from a minor Critical Chance Down debuff on her NP, Helena has no way whatsoever to boost her survivability either.
Ultimately, Helena is rather unsuited for long combat encounters. Still, her ability to both support any team with NP charging and all-purpose card performance, and use an offensive and powerful upgraded NP of her own, makes her invaluable for any farming Master. After all, long cooldowns are meaningless if the quest is cleared before they ever become relevant.
The king does not understand the hearts of men... Nay, maybe it is I who did not understand the king.
A member of King Arthur’s court and the titular character of Tristan and Iseult, Sir Tristan is one of the Knights of the Round, and an archer of unparalleled skill. His somber bearing and seemingly delicate appearance belie a man of great passion, who once rebuked King Arthur himself and stormed out of Camelot. As an ST Quick Archer, Tristan brings to battle a well-rounded overall performance with a wide array of utility and support options.
Tristan’s main source of damage comes in the form of his Quick ST NP Failnaught, which post-Interlude will begin to hit for a decent chunk of damage and Ignore Defense. Thanks to his strong base NP generation and Unblessed Birth, Tristan can unleash his Failnaught fairly often, generating a decent number of stars each time thanks to its good hit count. In addition, Tristan has extensive support capabilities, such as providing an ever-useful 1-hit Evasion for each party member, stripping an enemy of pesky buffs and reducing their critical hit chance, and making an enemy more susceptible to useful debuffs, such as Stun and Defense Down.
Unfortunately with such a focus on supporting the team, Tristan naturally finds his damage outside of his NP to be on the lower side compared to his peers due to his lack of active damage buffs, with only Independent Action providing a small boost in damage to his crits. In addition, his QQAAB deck means most of his Brave Chains will be some combination of Arts and Quick cards, rarely benefiting from the high damage multiplier on Buster cards. Add in the NP Seal demerit on his Unblessed Birth and his lack of strong personal defenses, and Tristan ends up being not particularly well suited to be the main attacker of a team.
In short, Tristan excels in fights where straightforward smashing is not the best way to handle things, as is often the case in Challenge Quests and Main Story Quests. After all, brute force isn't always an option, with many powerful enemies routinely having multiple HP bars to burn through before the fight is finished.
Great Servants that typically have more narrow specializations or face heavy competition. They often possess some unique factors that make them stand out.
"I'm seething with power... There's no need to hold back anymore."
Drenched in All Evils of the World from the cursed Holy Grail, Altria Pendragon (Alter), the corrupted version of the King of Knights, is a straightforward but effective offensive powerhouse. As a Buster-based damage dealer, she specializes in obliterating a single wave of enemies with her unusually strong AoE Noble Phantasm.
Altria Alter’s focus on offense is exemplified by her sky-high ATK, one of the highest of any 4* Servant. The foundation of her kit is Excalibur Morgan, one of the strongest AoE NPs in the game. Its unique strength is a much higher base NP damage modifier than usual, allowing it to outdamage similar NPs by far. To further bolster her damage, she brings two handy steroids: the Altria signature Mana Burst for selfish Buster Performance, and the reliable team ATK Up of Charisma, albeit at a low rank. Between her multiplicative buffs and her high damage modifier, Altria Alter is one of the best 4-Star AoE burst damage dealers out there.
However, Alter suffers from both a relatively low health pool and average generation stats. As such, she needs help from allies who can cover these weaknesses. Additionally, despite her high NP multiplier, she lacks any other effective damage modifiers, so she isn't optimal for battles with a single high-HP boss. Altria Alter also brings absolutely minimal team support to the table; outside of the small buff from Charisma and a small amount of critical stars from Instinct, she is an entirely selfish Servant.
All in all, with her powerful Noble Phantasm and steroids, Altria Alter’s Excalibur Morgan is an invaluable part of one’s Chaldea. When properly supported, the Dark King of Knights can freely blow through waves of even the toughest enemies.
Be like a falling leaf! But don’t actually fall!
Riding on a Hippogriff and wielding a golden lance, Astolfo has escaped from his myrtle tree prison to destroy the evil Casters who trapped him there. Now freed, Astolfo is a powerful farming Servant with his decent hitting AoE Quick Noble Phantasm that can be charged instantly with a little help.
Astolfo’s main strengths lie in his rapid-cast Noble Phantasm. By using Evaporation of Reason after its Skill Upgrade, Astolfo gains a 50% Noble Phantasm charge with which to unleash Hippogriff fast. A combination of the Attack Buff from Monstrous Strength, Riding A+, and his NP Upgrade, ensures this Noble Phantasm can be used for decent AoE damage. Astolfo also has significant survivability potential, thanks to a rare 3-hit evasion effect from his Noble Phantasm and a stun from Trap of Argalia. Lastly, Astolfo has good critical potential through a QQQAB deck, a Quick Noble Phantasm, the various random Critical effects in Evaporation of Reason, and the Instant Critical Stars generated by his Noble Phantasm.
However, when Astolfo is not using his Noble Phantasm he struggles to perform. Astolfo is plagued with extremely low generation rates for both NP generation and Critical Star generation from his Command cards. To make matters worse, his critical skills are chance-based, and required to sufficiently damage an enemy outside of his Noble Phantasm. When this chance-based Critical potential fails to trigger, it exasperates his QQQAB deck’s weaknesses and leads to generally low damage on his cards.
Thus, Astolfo mainly serves as a Quick AoE burst useful for clearing waves and hopefully generating Critical Stars. As one of the few SR servants with a 50% NP charge and an AoE Noble Phantasm, he makes an excellent option on farming teams against Caster waves.
With various Gae Bolg in hand, the mistress of Summer Scathach makes her debut as a welfare Servant in the Assassin class. While her skill set contains a mishmash of effects, Scathach's main value lies in her powerful, and fully upgraded, Area of Effect Quick NP.
For most Masters, strong AoE Assassins are a relative rarity without resorting to rolling the gacha. With spread out hit counts and decent NP generation, charging that NP is usually fine, especially as Scathach can taunt enemies with high hit counts to charge her NP for her. Furthermore, through her vast toolkit of skills, this Scathach dips her toes in many other different waters. She can Taunt, heal, protect, critical hard, Pierce Invincibility, and even inflict the (sadly mostly useless) Instant Death effect. Her Quick-deck also provides enough star generation potential that she can step into the role of providing critical stars to the team, especially when she launches her NP against multiple enemies.
Yet, Scathach's general competence in many facets is also her major flaw. With her skills so spread out and with so many different effects, she is a master of none that doesn't truly carve out a niche for herself outside of her accessible AoE NP. In addition, making optimal use out of each of her skills is difficult to do considering all her skills possess two different effects, that in many cases are ideally used at different times. This problem is made even more noticeable by the long cooldowns on her skills considering all her skills last for only a single turn.
In the end, Scathach (Assassin)'s lack of focus limits her use immensely outside of farming. Yet, there are few Assassins better suited for dealing high AoE damage to groups of rowdy Rider enemies
The Empress’s high-maintenance personality is well translated into her gameplay, featuring relatively good damage potential and strong team support capacity, particularly in the elusive Quick support category. While, Assassin of the Nightless City’s skills are simple and effective, her game plan is often more selfish, as she requires constant attention from Masters and teammates to function at her utmost capacity, especially given her mediocre generation performance.
While the Empress herself may not be a true powerhouse as of right now, she receives a much-needed upgrade to her Noble Phantasm in the future, bringing her closer to top tier Assassin options.
In the midst of the overpopulated AoE Saber roster, Suzuka Gozen does find a way to differentiate herself. Being one of the rare Sabers that packs solid AoE NP damage, NP charging and good Critical Damage potential, Suzuka is a solid choice for farming and general purpose alike. Her other aspects are not as strong, as she has middling NP and Star Generation, poor survivability and limited utility.
Overall, Suzuka Gozen is a strong, but not exceptional Servant. She fulfills her role well and easily avoids the lower tiers, but there are also more potent alternatives for each of her primary aspects.
The Knight of Treachery (swimsuit edition) is an Arts AoE Rider with one intensive focus - Constant AoE NP spam.
While her base NP gain is somewhat low compared to the average for a servant with two 2-hit Arts cards, she more than compensates for it with the various Arts boosts provided by her kit, an NP gauge increase skill, and, most importantly, good hit counts on her NP. All these factors together allow Mordred Rider to receive a 43% NP gauge refund from her own kit when hitting a normal full 3 enemy wave with her NP, and even more with team assistance or an NPAA chain.
Mordred’s new look doesn’t end there, with two solid durability skills to keep her consistently on the field, and a little niche star generation buff to make her Arts-focused chains actually provide stars as well for further NP spamming. Still, unlocking her full NP spamming potential requires extensive Arts support and sufficient enemies to attack. Even then, her sheer burst damage is generally quite a bit lower than her peers.
Regardless, while Mordred Rider ultimately falls down to being a one-trick pony who relies on having 3 foes to constantly blast with Prydwen, she does it so incredibly well that it forces her into a powerful position for any Arts team.
The female pirate duo is back at it again with their low HP-Noble Phantasm shenanigans, but this time as Buster-centric Archers. Like their Rider counterpart, Anne and Mary’s Archer form also sports the same gimmicky “less HP equals more damage” ST NP, but their kit this time is better suited for that niche.
Specifically, Anne & Mary get a no-time-limit Guts, giving them a safety net for their low HP theatrics. Their Archer form is also less reliant on their low HP gimmick as they can dish out high damage even without low HP because of their Buster kit and the various attack ups from their skills. Masters could potentially completely ignore the low HP aspect and simply consider it a bonus on top of their normal performance. Finally, they retain some of their Rider form’s critical damage capability albeit mainly with additional Critical (Damage) Support.
However, it’s important to note that Anne and Mary’s kit, no matter how optimized for the gimmick, is still a gimmick. While they do have a Guts skill to support their low HP playstyle, in the end, it’s still very risky to do so and Masters need to ensure the fight ends if they wish to make use of it. Furthermore, making use of low HP shenanigans often isn't possible during farming. However, Anne & Mary's kit is rather barren without their low HP damage boost to fall back on, carrying relatively fewer damage steroids and mainly providing some Attack Up, Defense Down and Star Generation to the team.
Either way, Anne and Mary is a straightforward Buster Archer who isn't entirely reliant on making use of her low HP gimmick to unload her damage potential. Her great compatability with Buster Supports ensures her base damage potential isn't hard to unlock either.
Taking the form of her Fate/Extra Master Alice, Nursery Rhyme joins Chaldea as a sturdy, AoE Arts Caster with critical capabilities. Nursery has three aspects to her kit, the first of which is her ability to charge her NP quickly and consistently. Not only does she have three Arts cards which can potentially chain into an Arts Brave chain, but she also has an NP charge skill. The second aspect is her overall tankiness. Apart from her high HP, Nursery has both a defense-increasing skill, as well as a heal and debuff removal tied to her NP-charging skill. Finally, she can also deal a good amount of critical damage via her first skill.
However, as good as she sounds, Nursery main downside is that her normal damage may leave a lot more to be desired. Her attack stat is average, but when coupled with the attack modifier of Casters, Nursery can’t hit as hard as she would like. Additionally, her critical damage side-niche needs help from other Servants to be effective as her own kit can’t produce a satisfactory amount of stars. Overall, Nursery Rhyme has good defenses and possible NP spam capabilities, but she needs support to fully realize the critical aspects of her niche.
“Umu! Behold my talent and listen to the thunderous applause! Then praise me!”
The innocently selfish, supremely cheerful Emperor of Roses appears as a rose in full bloom, a self-styled artist ruling the battlefield from her golden theater. An Arts-based Saber, Nero Claudius boasts a multitude of methods to keep her majestic self alive, making her an ideal choice for last man standing situations.
Nero possesses a good survivability baseline, one built on a mixture of healing from Migraine and Imperial Privilege, as well as a chance-based defense buff on the latter. While these effects already enable her to tank a lot more hits compared to other Servants, Nero’s third skill, Invictus Spiritus, is what truly distinguishes her defensive aspect. The triple-use Guts buff provided by this skill guarantees Nero several free turns when she is alone on the field, a rare and extremely powerful defensive ability.
On the offensive side, though Nero’s NP gain stat is somewhat mediocre, her AoE Arts NP Laus St. Claudius and her 5-hit Extra card allow her to use her NP slightly more often compared to other Sabers, especially once she gains acces to an NP charge post-Rank Up. This is a pretty considerable advantage, as Nero’s upgraded NP deals decent AoE damage if under the influence of Imperial Privilege’s attack buff. Said NP also provides a one-turn defense debuff, increasing the party’s damage output for that turn.
Although Imperial Privilege is Nero’s most versatile skill, its chance-based nature is also her biggest weakness, as failing to trigger either of the powerful buffs severely decreases her performance. This poses a problem as the rest of her kit does not improve her actual performance - at least until Migraine’s Rank Up into Goblet of Wealth. Despite her various survival skills, Nero also lacks a reliable way to block incoming damage, which can be detrimental outside of solo situations.
Armed with multiple survivability tools, Nero’s superb durability above all provides more strategic options for any Master, making some problematic quests far easier. However, Imperial Privilege’s random nature causes her performance to be rather inconsistent, and those using her should prepare some backup methods to overcome this potential problem… or perhaps, a tiny bit of help from the Goddess Fortuna.
"Behold, the Demon King's Three Line Formation! All who stand before me shall be destroyed!"
Although known as the Fool of Owari in childhood, Oda Nobunaga became an excellent tactician who arguably unified Japan. In-game, Nobunaga fights as an AoE Buster Archer who focuses on heavy crits and effective damage against enemies with the Riding and Divine traits.
As a welfare Servant, Nobu's NP benefits from ready access to NP5 for better offense. Combined with her effective damage against Riding from her NP Three Line Formation, and her single turn anti-Divinity skill, Nobu can make short work of Servants who possess either or especially both traits. Additionally, The Demonic King's complementary Star Absorption and Critical Damage buffs enable hard crits with even a modest amount of stars. Lastly, while Nobunaga's Strategy skill is weaker than most individual NP gain buffs, it benefits the whole team in return.
However, there are times when Nobu's foolishness shows. Her hit counts are okay on her Buster/Arts cards but atrocious for her Quick card, making her dependent on external help to gain stars for her crit potential. Similarly, her NP gain rate is about average (with a similarly bad Quick card). Thus she is reliant on supports, CE's, crits, and her Strategy skill to ready her NP efficiently. In addition, despite strong effective damage buffs, Nobu's lack of general offensive buffs (like Attack Up) means her damage against non-trait bearing enemies will be usually be lower than her peers.
Overall, Nobu is a Servant who can really shine against the correct enemies, and perform decently in other situations. Although she relies on supports that can provide her with either more offensive buffs, critical stars or NP charging to cover her weaknesses, in the right circumstances she will be able to conquer the enemy without a problem.
Medea Lily is one of the few dedicated healer servants in FGO, and she’s exceptional at her job. With her skill upgrades and interludes factored in, she can provide a huge chunk of healing immediately upon swap-in with her skill set, providing 7k hp worth of healing from her NP and Poison Resistance skill combined, while also giving a single ally 14k hp worth of healing from her 3rd skill’s heal amplification effect. Adding onto this, her NP has one of the best debuff resistance buffs in the game tied into it, letting her give the whole team pseudo-immunity to debuffs for 3 turns after cleansing them of any concurrent negative effects.
The flipside of this, however, is that Medea Lily has practically zero offensive capabilities. While her star generation is one of the best for the Caster class due to her high hitcounts, her attack stat is incredibly low, and she possesses no offensive buffs or a damaging NP. As such, her skills focus more on keeping the team alive, than being able to aid them in defeating enemies and beating the quest.
Rejoice, puppies! The most wondrous idol among all Servants is ready to regale her devoted audience with the most lovely of voices.
As the first welfare Servant to be rewarded in an event, the Caster version of Elisabeth Bathory provides Masters with easy access to a decently powerful AoE Buster NP5. This Noble Phantasm is a perfect tool for farming pesky Assassins, but her skill set, base attack stat and Caster class attack modifier (0.9x) do leave something to be desired on the damage front. In particular, Casters with a BAAAQ deck and a Buster NP often have difficulty doing truly strong damage as they lack the command cards to do a Buster Brave Chain or fully exploit their Territory Creation passive. For extended fights, there are often more viable picks, but if wave clearing is needed, Elisabeth provides.
However, Elisabeth does bring some decent star generation capability, with both Innocent Monster providing stars per turn and Performance Continuation adding an instant infusion of stars. Furthermore, her triple Arts cards can easily facilitate Arts chains for better NP generation which is a welcome addition due to Elisabeth's own average NP gain. With Buster buffs and trait-based Charisma support (she has the Dragon, Evil and Female traits), Elisabeth can function excellently as a hybrid damage-dealer in a variety of nodes despite her vanilla kit. Finally, her access to guts, high base HP and personal healing capability allows Elisabeth to survive decently in longer quests as well.
Ever since the game’s launch, Carmilla has always been one of the more reliable 4-star Assassins. The main reason for this is her NP, which has a built-in ATK up and is extremely effective against female enemies. Thanks to Carmilla’s first skill as well as her good NP gain stats, she is able to spam it rather reliably, allowing her to deal considerable damage consistently, something further boosted by her second skill’s defense down. Her third skill provides additional critical stars for the team and applies a huge critical chance debuff to an enemy, which although situational, is useful against certain Rider enemies such as Dragons.
On the other hand, Carmilla has some limiting weaknesses. Her triple-Quick deck and the Assassin-class' 0.9x damage modifier means her damage can be lacking at times. It is also important to note that although using Carmilla’s NP heals her, she has no other defensive/sustain skills to speak of, which means she would have to rely on external support in that regard. Overall, Carmilla is an extremely versatile offensive Servant with reliable performance.
"What? You want a piece of me? Ahem..."
The waterside saint who tamed a dragon with her fists of compassion, Saint Martha is a supportive Rider with the ability to both remove beneficial buffs from enemies, and cleanse detrimental debuffs from allies. With both a Buster AoE NP and an Arts-deck, Martha can fit in a variety of teams based on whether her specific capabilities are required.
Martha's utility is her primary selling point, as her Miracle is one of the few skills with an on-demand cleanse that removes debuffs on the entire party at once - a feat typically reserved for support NPs. In addition, her Oath of the Holy Maiden provides more utility by stripping an enemy of their buffs while inflicting a hefty up to 30% Defense Down. The 3-turn AoE scaling Defense Down on her NP Tarasque provides further support (and allows her NP to be an excellent start to an NP Chain), while she keeps her team topped off with AoE healing. Lastly, her combination of high Rider-level Star Weight, triple Arts card deck, and extremely high base NP Generation rate per hit will ensure she can charge her NP very quickly.
However, Saint Martha is pretty weak in terms of offense. Her low base Attack and single Buster card reduce her damage output turn to turn, while her NP pre-Rank Up only profits from the single Defense Down from Oath of the Holy Maiden. The Rank Up for her NP does improve her damage output, but it still lags behind those of her peers even afterwards. Martha's overall support is also less powerful for basic quests, where her debuff cleansing and buff-stripping utility are often unnecessary. Lastly, her support role is heavily encumbered by her high Rider-class Star Weight, as Martha will soak up the critical stars the main damage-dealer would typically prefer to use.
At first glance, Saint Martha is a sturdy AoE Arts-oriented Rider with weak offensive capabilities. But beneath the surface lies a situationally incredibly powerful Support whose on-demand utility makes her a powerful Servant for challenging fights where buff-stripping and debuff cleansing are key.
Be it a knight, a spy, a man, or a woman, Chevalier d’Eon has been all of these at different points in time, but one thing stays constant during all the years of their life - their loyalty. A staunch protector of the crown of France, the durable d’Eon is most known for being an Arts Saber with a three-turn Taunt.
It’s their Beautiful Appearance skill that truly defines d’Eon’s fighting style, allowing them to protect their allies from harm for three turns. With their very base high HP pool, additional healing and Defense Up, the debuffs on Fleur de Lis, and Mind’s Eye (True)’s Evasion, d’Eon’s capability to take hits is rather impressive. Last but not least, Self-Suggestion allows d’Eon to tank (and cleanse) enemy debuffs as well, potentially granting the team a strategic advantage during high difficulty content.
d’Eon’s offensive side, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Due to their defensive kit, d’Eon is neither able to dish out enough meaningful damage on their own, nor support teammates’ damage dealing capabilities to a sufficient degree. This is in part caused by Fleur de Lis’ undertuned debuffs, which only truly become worthwhile to apply at higher NP levels. Meanwhile, AoE attacks as well as various anti-Evasion measures (Buff Removal/Sure-Hit/Invincibility Ignore) present the biggest threats to d’Eon’s defensive style, greatly reducing their effectiveness when deployed.
When it comes down to it, Chevalier d’Eon is a Servant who excels at a single thing - and that is, redirecting damage and debuffs away from his teammates. While they have several glaring issues, d’Eon can be a very potent tool if used correctly, be it as a dedicated escort of otherwise-squishy Berserkers, or as a strategic disposable piece in suicide tanking strategies.
“The evil dragon shall fall, and the world will reach its sunset. I will bring you down--Balmung!”
Siegfried is a German hero famed for his slaying of the monstrous dragon Fafnir, and his dragonslaying legend is the centerpiece of his kit, alongside his good NP gain and decent survivability. While the Nibelungenlied’s hero was plagued with several major issues at the release of the game, his access to two Rank Up Quests brings him to a point where he performs decently even against normal enemies as an AoE Buster Saber, while his capabilities rise to an exceptional level when fighting dragons.
A large part of Siegfried’s might is owed to Dragon Slayer, which greatly improves his damage and defense against dragons on a fairly low cooldown. In addition, the skill also acts as a universal damage boosting tool after its Rank Up, granting a buff to Siegfried’s Buster performance for one turn. Amazingly, both of these damage buffs stack multiplicatively with his NP Balmung’s anti-Dragon supereffective damage, further cementing Siegfried’s standing as a dragon-killing machine. After Balmung’s Rank Up, it not only gains a higher damage modifier but also applies an additional NP Gain buff on Siegfried for 3 turns, working alongside Golden Rule to increase the frequency with which he is able to unleash his NP.
On the flip side of his wealthy coin, Siegfried loses a lot of his prowess when facing non-dragon enemies. While Siegfried’s high HP and Disengage’s healing and debuff clear make him pretty durable, lacking Dragon Slayer’s defense buff weakens his claim to having high survivability, especially as he has no hard defensive skills to fall back on either. Similarly, his low base ATK means that Siegfried is hard pressed to match other Sabers in terms of damage without his anti-dragon attack buff, despite his Rank Ups.
All in all, once Masters complete his Rank Up quests, Siegfried becomes a serviceable Saber for most fights. However, he is one of the most frightening damage dealers in the entire game when unleashed against Dragon foes, who happen to be surprisingly common bosses in events, Challenge Quests and tough story fights. Indeed, if used wisely, Siegfried will leave his arch-enemies scrambling to apologize.
Decent Servants that can perform well in the right teams, but often have either more powerful alternatives, or a niche that is difficult to fully exploit.
As ferocious (if less deadly) on the battlefield as on stage, Elisabeth is both an offensive and supportive Servant. Equipped with a party-wide ATK buff and a targetable DEF debuff, not only is the Blood Countess able to buff her own damage, she is also able to extend the same benefits unto her teammates. After her Strengthening Quest, her Sadistic Charisma skill further buffs the ATK of female allies, turning her into a powerful damage support for all female allies.
Yet, Elisabeth has little in the way of utility or defense aside from her NP’s defense ignore and curse, and the Battle Continuation skill, which is a rather inflexible defensive skill. Her NP also hits for a relatively low amount of damage before its upgrade later down the line. Since she neither profits from her own female Charisma boost nor from access to any other steroids such as critical-related skills, her potential in terms of being a primary damage dealer is therefore limited.
All things considered, while Elisabeth cannot deal much damage on her own, her damage support niche contributes a lot to the team’s overall output, making her a great choice for a secondary damage dealer.
‘W… Whassup! My homies!’
The Queen of France whose life was cut short in the chaos of the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, rides into battle as a durable Quick-based Servant who, ironically enough, just does not die. Vive la France!
Mirroring her skill set, Marie sacrifices her attack stat for a great deal more HP, letting her stick around in fights for a long time. Her signature skill Beautiful Princess brings a fantastic combination of hit-based invincibility and healing that stands as one of the strongest defensive skills in the game, rivaling the well-known Protection From Arrows. The rest of her skills provide a mix of defensive sustain and some utility effects, mostly eschewing offense entirely. Marie’s NP Guillotine Breaker deals a modicum of AoE damage, but more importantly forms the centerpiece of her team support, with its party-wide heal and debuff cleanse, as well as a party Critical Damage buff after its Rank Up. Overall, she leans very heavily on the defensive end of the spectrum and tends to prefer slower, longer fights.
Unfortunately, although Marie may be able to stick around forever with her invincibility and constant heals, her weak NP gain limits her on-demand aid to the team to just a high cooldown Charm. The weak NP gain is especially problematic because her NP is her main source of damage and team support. The downside of being a supportive Rider also rears its head; with the massive star weight of the Rider class, Marie is likely to steal critical stars from the Servants who want to be actually using them to deal damage.
Still, these flaws are nothing to lose one’s head over, and with careful play, the sweet Queen can be a durable, supportive asset. Her combination of absurd survivability and some party support is especially useful for any Starting Master.
“My ruffling fur and boiling instincts! I'll follow you until the end Master, woof!”
Chaldea's cute combative canid cat cook cheerily cuts through her enemies as a Buster Berserker with a Quick AoE NP. A member of the infamous Tamamo-Nine, a “cat” who shouts “woof”, her skill set can be described as slightly capricious especially after her 2 Rank Ups.
Tamamo Cat’s main dish is her upgraded Berserker AoE NP, which when combined with her class’s near-universal increased damage and her one attack steroid, make for a convenient farming Servant. The NP has a decent 5 hits to boot, often generating a good sum of Critical Stars against multiple enemies. Additionally, the quirks in her kit make her deceptively robust. Cat’s Morph initially increases her defense by a good amount, but once it gets upgraded, it also gives her increased maximum HP and debuff immunity. Likewise, Curse, after Rank Up, gives her one free-hit of Invincibility while at the same time potentially delaying an enemy’s NP by reducing their gauge by one. Finally, she also has a massive healing-per-turn tied to her NP, further increasing her survivability.
However, befitting her lore, our fox-cat-dog does have some identity issues with regards to her kit. Firstly, her overall damage is not as high as she would like it to be. While Monstrous Strength and its attack up does partially make up for this, its unusual uptime of 2 turns lowers her overall damage potential. Next, her NP, true to what it says, makes Tama-Cat take a nap after usage, i.e. she’ll be stunned for the rest of the turn as well as the next turn. While this isn’t really a problem for daily missions, Masters may need to work around this demerit in Story or Challenge Quests through either debuff removal or debuff immunity (like with her upgraded Morph).
Overall, Tamamo Cat is a solid farming Servant who is surprisingly tanky, enough to warrant possible inclusion in teams outside of farming given enough preparation to play around her NP’s stun demerit. Not bad for a starter Servant, woof!
Anne Bonny/Mary Read is an interesting duo. Their strength lies in their immense one turn burst, either through their extraordinary Noble Phantasm or crit damage steroid. When the setup is right they can obliterate any boss with their firepower. However, outside of that they have nothing else to elevate themselves to a higher tier. Their star generation and NP generation are both subpar, and they are heavily reliant on crits to do damage due to lack of Buster cards. Lack of defensive steroids in combination with a high risk / high reward NP also makes them harder to use for many teams. Nonetheless, if players are looking for a solid 1 turn boss killer, then their sheer damage output still make Anne / Mary a good choice despite many of their downsides.
Beowulf is a Berserker with pretty much only one thing on his agenda - dealing damage. Thankfully, he does that rather well, with reasonably fast access to an NP interlude to augment Grendel Buster's damage output and a skill set that just plain hits hard, with his Madness Enhancement and Berserk skill together giving him a hefty steroid to NP damage.
Beyond that, however, Beowulf is plagued with weaknesses, primarily a lack of a reliable defensive skill and the curse of Intuition bringing his entire kit down. Regardless, the highest NP damage output of any non-welfare 4* is nothing to scoff at.
Legends speak of “God Spear Li”, a Chinese martial arts master who never had to strike the same opponent twice. His aptly named Noble Phantasm: Shen Qiang Wu Er Da roughly translates to “God Spear, No Second Strike”, and is a single-target defense-piercing Arts NP that inflicts defense down (20%) for 3 turns. With one of the few accessible Arts-type NPs on a Lancer-class servant, Li Shuwen has a unique place in the Lancer roster.
With decent base Attack, a chunky 50% Arts Performance buff in Juezhao, and the Lancer 1.05x damage modifier, Li Shuwen deals impressive burst damage with his NP even before his Rank Up. Masters can subsequently combine his burst with his Critical Gathering and 100% (!) Critical Damage skills, especially as his NP inflicts a strong Defense Down. The trinity buff-stacking of Arts Performance, Defense Down, and Critical Damage can lead to some really impressive Arts critical hits. Li Shuwen is also true to the chant of "No Second Strike" as his NP pierces defense buffs by default, while his skills enable him to pierce both Evasion and Invincibility.
Unfortunately, with one of the poorest NP generation rates in the Lancer class, Li Shuwen has great difficulty actually charging his NP in time. However, his largest problem is his overall incredibly burst-heavy nature. With all of his steroids lasting for a single turn, and carrying a 6 turn cooldown even at max, Li Shuwen struggles to deal consistent high damage. One can stagger his buffs to spread them out more, but this lessens the overall synergy between his skills. In addition, firing off all his buffs at once can waste many of the secondary effects his skills possess.
Thus, Li Shuwen is a capable Arts Lancer, but in an era of Break Bars his burst heavy nature is noticeably less useful. Masters with a preference for Arts teams will find him highly useful however, especially if they can supply him with Critical Stars.
Thomas Edison can be described as a support/utility Servant who focuses on critical star generation and enemy disruption via his Noble Phantasm which can seal enemy skills and NPs. He also has a gimmicky skill, Concept Improvement, which increases the overcharge level of an ally’s NP by two but overall, doesn’t have much impact. Rather, he is better used as a support for Crit teams as among other things, he can give out a stream of stars using Mass Production.
However, as Edison has low attack, poor star generation, and as Mass Production has an overtly long cooldown, he may not be the best choice as a support. His NP has some utility, but there are other defensive Servants better at protecting their team from an NP as opposed to merely stalling it for one turn. Overall, although Edison has tools for supporting Crit lineups, he’s outshined by other more dedicated supports. His third skill, though having its niche uses, can’t alone carry his lackluster kit.
Irisviel is a support-type Servant specializing in keeping her teammates alive, with two of her skills and her NP directly contributing to this function. She is unique in that her NP provides a team-wide Guts, which means that it bypasses threats such as defense, invulnerability, and evasion ignores, as well as instant kills - the last of which can be particularly relevant for certain quests - though it is still vulnerable towards buff removal properties.
There are several major weaknesses Irisviel possesses however, the most notable of which is her subpar NP gain. Even when her NP gain buff is active, her NP gain is only average, which means that she'll have a hard time trying to use her NP constantly. Additionally, she provides little utility outside of survival aid, limiting her overall usability.
“On my name as the Knight of the Sun, I shall deliver victory to you.”
The wielder of the Sword of the Sun, and a fiercely loyal member of the Knights of the Round Table, Gawain is a dedicated AoE Buster damage dealer.
Gawain is the first Servant to introduce abilities that are enhanced when on specific stages. In Gawain’s case, his signature Numeral of the Saint grants a bonus (up to 30%) Buster buff on stages that are sunny (morning to noon). Furthermore, his first two skills can boost his and the party’s attack damage. Meanwhile, his NP gain is assisted by a flat 20% NP charge on Belt of Bertilak, allowing for turn 1 NPs when equipped with Kaleidoscope. As a result, he’s great for quickly clearing smaller enemy waves with the AoE of Excalibur Galatine. His triple Buster card deck also enables more stable damage outside of burst turns.
As an added bonus, his NP also inflicts Skill Seal and Burn, offering a bit of utility to the team.
Unfortunately, even with all his damage boosts active, his NP is still outclassed in damage by Servants like Altria Pendragon (Alter), partly due to his lack of an NP Interlude. His potential is also reduced outside of sunny stages, where he loses access to his Buster buff on Numeral of the Saint. In addition, the sole survivability skill he has is an unwieldy 1-turn Guts that is tied to his NP charge, which means Masters often have to choose one effect or the other based on the situation.
Overall, Gawain is a decent AoE Buster damage dealer who improves in specific stages where the sun shines. His capacity to farm with an NP charge and the special effects on his NP also add to his usefulness, especially if he is supported by powerful Buster Supports. He may not be perfect, but when he shines, he scorches.
On paper, Avenger of Shinjuku seems quite decent. With high base attack, a decent steroid, single target Noble Phantasm, good NP generation and some utility to boot, he seems to have many things going for him. But in reality, this Dark Souls boss in Servant disguise does not excel at any one of those aspects, resulting in a Servant with highly circumstantial usage.
Despite his high attack, Avenger of Shinjuku’s sustained damage is less than ideal due to mostly short-lived skill effects. His own utility suffers similarly, lasting neither long nor accessible very often. His survivability is also quite poor, as he possess no hard survival skills, has low HP, and his main defense tool is tied to one of his offensive skill. Last but not least, the scarcity of Ruler bosses means that rarely will his class advantage be available, and even for those situations, most other Avengers offer more bang for their buck than Avenger of Shinjuku.
Still, the Avenger of Shinjuku carries enough utility in his buff removal and sheer attack, that he can be quite useful as a general damage dealer. In addition, he has a powerful NP Interlude to look forward to.
With decently strong individual skills, Nitocris (Assassin) ought to be much stronger than she actually is. Without her third skill up, her NP Gain is rather weak, while her AoE farming potential is hamstrung by her Instant Death capability indirectly reducing its hit count and thus refund potential. Her defensive nature is still fairly useful with a Taunt always being a welcome addition, especially to help her gain a bit more NP Gauge to launch her NP with. Her lack of synergy between her skills reduces her potential, but she is still a decent Arts Assassin otherwise.
Whether in the palace or the on the beach, the Queen of France glitters all the same, though with the addition of a ball that perhaps symbolizes victory. Despite the different costume, Marie (Caster) retains several core properties of her original version - most notably, her tankiness. Coming with a 3-hit Invincibility skill as well as self-heal, Marie is among the tankier Casters. She boasts a kit revolving around supporting critical-oriented allies, being able to increase allies’ critical star generation, generate some stars every turn, and even buff their critical damage.
On the other hand, being highly support-oriented means that Marie has less buffs for herself. Due to her low star weight, she can hardly make use of the critical stars she generates. With only a single attack buff and her passive Arts buff, her overall damage potential is rather low, especially considering the Caster-class 0.9x damage modifier.
By virtue of being a welfare AoE Berserker, Chacha establishes herself as a decent farming Servant. Furthermore, with both a decent NP battery skill and her innately good NP generation rate, she will generally have that AoE NP ready quickly. She also provides some team support with passive stars per turn and a defense down, but only at a moderate level.
On the other hand, Chacha suffers from several flaws that, while not individually deal-breaking, can be quite problematic in practice. For one, her survivability is particularly terrible - a result of a lackluster HP stat, a Berserker’s inherent frailty and a complete lack of defensive or survivability skills. Furthermore, Chacha’s overall’s damage leaves much to be desired even with her high NP level, as she does not have powerful immediate steroids to compensate for her lower Attack. Last but not least, while not a direct reflection on her, the princess competes with many formidable Servants that occupy the same niche as Berserker farmers, and they either do more damage, have lower cost or charge better. This puts a damper on her relative value.
Gorgon is a Servant of irregular origins, a monster who is not supposed to exist, and her kit reflects this fact. The monstrous aspect of Medusa possesses good offensive potential, coming with an extraordinarily high ATK stat, the Avenger class’ 1.1x damage modifier, as well as increased critical damage and NP gain from her passive skills. This potential is further amplified through her kit, which contains major ATK and critical damage buffs. With all of these aspects factored in, Gorgon has ridiculous damage potential, rivaling even many higher-rarity Servants. As a cherry on top, she also comes with a couple of utility tools, most significantly her signature Mystic Eyes’s stun effect.
Unfortunately, every monster has a bane, and Gorgon is not exempt from this fact. As an Avenger-class Servant, her base star weight is extremely low. With no way to increase it on her own, to say that her critical hits are inconsistent would be an understatement. As a result, her critical damage buff is often useless unless the party is specifically tailored to help her in this regard, which makes building a team for her far more restrictive. Another factor that restricts her team building is that Gorgon has no reliable survival tool except for Demonic Mutation’s Guts, (which is generally subpar compared to other defensive measures), and thus she also needs to rely on her allies to survive more difficult battles.
Considering these factors, Gorgon is definitely usable in the right scenarios, but the many restrictions posed by her drawbacks can make fielding her optimally feel like a hassle, especially when easier-to-use alternatives are available.
With difficulty charging her NP bar, with only her good Arts cards to save her, and a terrifyingly long cooldown on Mana Tuning, Helena Blavatsky (Archer) is mainly suited as a support in situations where her teamwide NP Charge is essential to clearing a quest quickly. Her ability to still launch a damaging NP and charge NP Gauges is especially valuable to Masters without any other sources of teamwide NP Gauge boosting.
Still, her NP Damage is among the weakest of her rarity and her utility, while useful, limits her overall support potential to mainly her NP Charge. A useful farming Servant for sure, but she lacks the enduring performance expected of higher Tiers.
Servants with limited viability. These Servants can be viable, but typically require extensive support. Often they suffer from low stats, poor skills or ineffective Noble Phantasms. Still, dedicated Masters can extract good performances from them.
Named “Lily” for her dress having the appearance of the flower by the same name, Altria Pendragon Lily was a free servant available at the beginning of NA release and was free to obtain (up to NP5) during the Saber Wars event. She is a younger, more naïve incarnation of Altria, and as such, is not as proficient in combat as the other Altrias.
Overall, she has lower durability and damage output when compared to other Sabers. She comes with most of the standard Altria saber skills including Intuition (critical stars for 1 turn) and Mana Burst (Buster damage up), although instead of Charisma she has Journey of the Flowers (Party NP generation up). Although the team NP generation is useful, it is nowhere near powerful enough to justify using her over Saber Alter, Nero or even Siegfried in most circumstances.
She is best suited for farming due to her AoE Buster NP, although she can serve as a stand-in for a Saber class damage dealer if no alternatives are available.
She will later gain an NP Rank Up Quest during the Saber Wars event re-run (eta: January 2020), which will upgrade her Noble Phantasm from rank B to B+.
Assassin of Shinjuku in his release state is a lackluster Assassin whose main flaws are so detrimental and fundamental, that Masters have to expend a lot of extra effort to make him perform well relative to his peers.
To start off, his base Attack is rather poor, with only decent Star Generation and initially weak NP generation. Coupled with his lack of steroids (which will be remedied by a Rank Up Quest in the future), his offensive power is far behind most Assassins of the same rarity, and even behind some of lower rarity options. His skill set does not do much to remedy his problems, as currently his skills all have underwhelming values for their effects. He also lacks any survivability tools needed for tougher content, despite his high base HP.
To sum it up, this handsome martial artist will struggle to earn a place in most teams in his current state. His future update will grant him a notable boost to his performance as a whole, but until that point, there are just far better alternatives available for an Assassin slot. In addition, his role as a critical star supplier can often be done better by a support, who typically carry many other useful elements in their kit.
Finally matching her sisters in both stature and divinity, Medusa Lily arrives to the game in the Babylonia chapter. Wielding the very scythe that decapitated and killed her in life, Harpe, she seems much more cold than the regular version of Medusa. Will her new form keep her from being bullied by Stheno and Euryale? Not likely.
Medusa's pint-sized Lancer incarnation packs similar traits to her regular self in spite of her different class. While her offensive power and general utility as a servant are lacking, she packs impressive durability and a rare niche in packing one of the few consistent stun NPs in the game.
However, her skill set is generally weak with unimpressive effects on long cooldowns, and her NP gain rate is a sore weakness for how good her NP is; packing acceptable Arts cards but having weak NP gain rate in her two Quicks and Extra card, she struggles to charge her gauge on the whole.