The 5 Star Roster has grown at a rapid pace and with the roster becoming ever larger, we wanted to provide a bit more transparency to our readers about Servant placement within our tier list.
All the 5 Star Servants are generally being evaluated based on their current performance on the NA server only, but we will also try our best to give the readers an idea of how the placement of these powerhouses could change once they get their coveted upgrades from the JP server. We believe this will help give Masters a better understanding of which 5 Star Servants are worth more in terms of both present and future capacity.
Finally, while it is true that no 5 Star Servants are created equal, they do, at the end of the day, have insane stats compared to the lower rarity Servants. Thus, all of them are worth raising eventually as long as players have the resources.
While we still intend to write a larger interpretation of our tier list, here is a short overview of what we actually look at when ranking our servants:
Competition within niche
Challenge Quest performance
Servant value for farming
Sustained damage and burst damage performance
Statistics (attack/HP/generation, etc.)
Support capability and utility
Zhuge’s ability to fill teammates’ NP bar on demand, combined with the powerful values on his buffs, make him extremely versatile and potent on every team archetype possible. Including Zhuge in any team reduces the difficulty dramatically and he should always be one of the first names on a team for any event or challenge.
Merlin is the biggest contender for the title “Best Servant in the Game”. Bringing a plethora of absurdly overpowered team support effects, Merlin raises the performance of all Buster-centric Servants by several levels and allows many team setups to reach unmatched heights. Damage, teamwide NP generation, teamwide protection, sustain, and even passive Star Generation, there is almost nothing this fluffy wizard can’t do. While his kit is not quite as efficient for farming as Zhuge Liang, Merlin’s value in high difficulty content is unparalleled, being able to function flawlessly in both short-term and long-term battles, in both Arts- and Buster-centric teams.
Gilgamesh specializes at two very useful niches. First, he has a powerful AoE Noble Phantasm well suited for both farming and single target damage due to the majority of bosses in the game being Servants. Additionally, he performs well as a Buster Critical Damage Dealer thanks to a combination of on-demand Critical Absorption, high natural Critical Damage, high base stats and the ability to do Buster Brave Chains.
Tamamo does not work nearly as well outside of Arts teams, but she is a staple for dedicated Arts teams. Her unique combination of cooldown reduction, team NP charge, party heal and a targetable Art’s performance up buff is unmatched in the current state of the game. Tamamo allows any Arts team to either stall their way to victory, or chain offensive Noble Phantasms endlessly in quick succession.
With some of the best Star Generation and NP Generation in the game, Jack the Ripper not only works fantastically as a standalone damage dealer, but also as a premier Critical Star generator for the team. Her bonus damage against female enemies and targetable buff removal are also extremely useful, as the game has no shortage of bosses who are female or like to spam buffs.
Cu Chulainn Alter is a Berserker with high attack stats combined with the ability to do Buster Brave Chains while having an overwhelmingly potent kit for survival. These traits make him a fantastic addition to any team. While he does not have a particularly powerful niche, his performance independent of team setup and his consistency in both surviving and dealing damage land him a well-deserved spot in Tier 1.
A devastating skillset that fixes all Avenger weaknesses, along with the best Attack stat in the game, propel Jeanne Alter to the throne of one of the top Buster Critical Damage Dealers. There’s little that needs to be said about Jeanne Alter, as her absurdly high raw damage is so strong it overshadows her relatively poor class advantage and mediocre bulk.
Being a versatile attacker with strong single target and AoE damage at the same time, it is not surprising to see Raikou at the top of the damage dealers’ echelon. Her bonus damage against a vast array of enemies and Buster Critical Damage centric kit ensure that she never falls out of favor and remains consistent for a long time.
Ozymandias’s ability to support his team with two team-wide buffs is both extremely unique and powerful at the same time. Furthermore, the combination between Protection of the Sun God and Imperial Privilege makes him a fantastic damage dealer with consistently high damage output and durability.
One of the best Art Damage Dealers in the game, Summer Altria’s claim to fame is her extraordinary NP refund. Thanks to a combination of Excalibur Vivian’s high hit counts and overcharge effect, Summer Altria can use multiple Noble Phantasm in rapid succession. On top of that she has an excellent supportive skill set to further bolster any Art team’s survivability. Once this lovely King of Knights get going, she is simply unstoppable.
With a fantastic skill set across the board and heavy frontal burst damage, Quetzalcoatl is easily one of the best Riders in the game. She is easy to use and set up, and particularly effective at what she does, making her a prime candidate for quickly killing Berserker or Caster bosses. Furthermore, her utility is also fantastic, offering a strong teamwide attack buff, targetable Buster and Guts, and NP seal on her Noble Phantasm. Her Buster-centric kit allows her to stay relevant for a long time with the release of Merlin.
It is not an exaggeration to say Musashi has possibly the highest potential amongst Sabers. Thanks to her extremely unique and potent first skill, Fifth Form, Musashi has fantastic NP uptime and surprisingly good Star Generation despite having a triple Buster deck. Add in the steroids from her second skill and Noble Phantasm, and we get one of the best Single Target damage dealers in the game, particularly when accompanied by Servants like Merlin. Considering she also packs great team utility with her ability to clear enemy buffs and having great survivability with debuff clear and invulnerability, Musashi is fantastic in most Challenge Quests. However, due to being highly dependent on certain cards and card chains, Musashi can be frustratingly inconsistent when things don’t go her way.
While Jeanne’s skills are mediocre, if not somewhat weak, her bulk and Noble Phantasm make her an amazing tank that can protect teammates and can fit well in any stall team. With her Interlude available, Jeanne's biggest weakness has been removed and she becomes a powerhouse for any stalling team. Her use outside of the most challenging content remains limited however, and any quests where damage is key remains Jeanne's largest weakness.
Vlad draws many similarities to Orion. He is a fantastic Arts Damage Dealer with strong damage output and consistent performance when the team is built around him. He excels particularly in heavy Arts teams during Challenge Quests where his NP can be used liberally and defense buffs can be stacked. Outside of Arts teams and for general farming, Vlad is much less powerful. His poor NP generation becomes far more noticeable and detrimental outside of Arts teams in particular.
Sakata Kintoki holds the very rare niche of being the one of the few Berserkers in the game who can unleash his Noble Phantasm immediately without being overly reliant on a Craft Essence and teammates’ support. His raw damage is incredibly high and terrific for one-shotting small bosses, but it is offset by his extremely poor survivability.
Scathach has great coverage against Undead and Divine enemies, who commonly appear in the game, and which include a lot of Archers and Berserkers. Her Noble Phantasm is also fantastic against bosses thanks to its high damage and guaranteed stun, making her a prominent boss killer. Scathach, however, suffers from the inconsistency of her NP generation rate and the RNG on her first skill, making her hard to fully utilize. Many high profile Archers in the game also possess Divinity, which pushes her damage against those targets through the roof.
Okita draws many similarities to Jack the Ripper. Her high NP generation and Star Generation makes her a consistent and reliable single target damage dealer and Critical Star generator. However, her card deck being Quick-oriented hurts her viability as it lowers her potential damage output. Furthermore, Okita does not offer any unique niche to the team to propel her to the next level.
Drake is easily one of the best farming Servants in the game thanks to her fantastic self-sufficient kit and the ability to chain her AoE Noble Phantasm in quick succession. Drake, however, is not that fantastic at dealing single target damage, as she lacks strong self-buffs as well as any form of bonus damage against certain enemy types to distinguish herself from other AoE Riders.
Karna’s kit combines the strong aspects of many Servants without being overly specialized, making him a great jack of all trades Servant. He fares best as a Buster Critical Damage Dealer thanks to his powerful steroids and high Attack stat, while his bonus damage against Divine enemies make him a great pick in many circumstances. Karna’s downsides are his lack of survival tools as well as the lack of any means to reliably gather Critical Stars for himself.
Brynhild is a good hybrid between damage dealer and support. Her ability to grant allies Critical Absorption is quite unique and her upgraded Noble Phantasm offers strong extra damage coverage. Her Buster nature and good generation performance makes her a consistently strong pick as a primary Lancer even if her anti-trait doesn't cover as many Servants as her direct peers. She does lack a strong survivability tool though, which hampers her ability to stay on the field over time. Will receive a skill upgrade in the future, granting her access to a particularly powerful targetable Star Gathering buff.
Nero Bride is a strong hybrid attacker/buffer that performs well both independently and in specific setups. Often used in Arts-centric teams, Nero Bride is fantastic at helping a teammate’s NP spamming capacity, while also being capable of dishing out notable damage thanks to her own high NP generation rate and strong Noble Phantasm after her Interlude. Because of her well-roundedness, Nero Bride is also a good backline member to bring out when a frontliner fall in battle, as she can fulfill either Support and/or DPS duty in their stead.
However, her versatility is also her downfall, as Nero Bride is neither the best Arts support nor DPS, and thus can be replaced by Servants with more specialized skill sets in optimal Arts teams.
Amakusa Shirou distinguishes himself through his Noble Phantasm’s AoE enemy buff clear, making him a very potent choice for boss fights. His Ruler class also makes him exceptionally tanky against most enemies and also grants him a good base neutral damage output, but his skill set heavily hampers his offensive capability.
Fantastic NP, Critical Star Generation, and useful overcharge effect on her single-target Noble Phantasm land Summer Tamamo a spot in many teams dedicated to killing bosses. While her skill set has some amazing effects combined together, their demerits can be quite annoying to fully utilize her skill set, especially for inexperienced players. Nonetheless, Summer Tamamo is a force to be reckoned with, and can easily take over the Lancer spot for many players.
Cleopatra is easily among the best AoE Assassins in the game. She is extremely self-sufficient with fantastic NP generation and Star generation rates. She also has a plethora of buffs and has amazing survivability thanks to both healing and Invulnerability on demand. However, the Egyptian Queen has some noticeable flaws that keep her away from the top tiers. For starters, her chance-based Imperial Privilege is heavily dependent on RNG, making her performance less consistent. Furthermore, the lack of an Interlude for her Noble Phantasm results in a somewhat underwhelming damage output per NP activation. Nonetheless, Cleopatra is still among the most premium AoE Assassins that the game offers and Tier 2 is a well-deserved placement for her.
Ishtar is easily one of the best farming Archers in the game. Boasting a whopping 50% instant NP charge, extraordinary base stats, three steroids jammed into her kit and an AoE Buster Noble Phantasm, Ishtar has everything she needs to make herself useful for farming events. The Queen of Heaven’s kit does have a couple of weak points, as her only survivability tool has but a 80% chance to proc, and her massive attack buff can be tricky to fully utilize for less experienced players. Nonetheless, Ishtar is a very valuable Archer whose usefulness only goes up over time, and is a massive life-saver for any contents requiring powerful AoE Archers.
The Demon Commander of the Shinsengumi is a prime example of a glass cannon, packing some of the highest damage potential in the game alongside equally poor survivability. Hijikata’s damage comes from two main sources that scale harder the lower his HP gets: his single target Noble Phantasm and his third skill, Law of the Shinsengumi, which grants a strong Critical Damage boost on top of Star Absorption for three turns. He fits incredibly well into modern Buster-centric teams, working as a focal point for the team to support around.
Hijikata, however, is as frail as a Berserker can get, both lacking hard survivability and having a lackluster HP stat for a 5 Star Servant. While this does play into his own niche by helping him reaching critical levels of HP easier to bring out his best offensive capacity, he is extremely prone to getting one-shotted, especially against stray critical hits.
Mordred is a great farmer thanks to the ability to instantly charge her Noble Phantasm with Secret of Pedigree and her strong upgraded Noble Phantasm. Her base stats are also decent for a Saber, but both her generation stats and her skillset are extremely vanilla and often do not offer her prolonged effectiveness on the battlefield. Furthermore, her Noble Phantasm’s overcharge effect is very niche, and rarely finds use throughout the game.
Tesla is a fantastic farming Servant thanks to his instant NP charge and high damage AoE Noble Phantasm. Furthermore, his Noble Phantasm has fantastic coverage as it does extra damage to a wide array of Servants, allowing him to fare very well in many boss battles. However, he is overly reliant on his Noble Phantasm to deal meaningful damage, and his skill set isn’t particularly powerful enough to make Tier 2.
Nightingale possesses a good supportive skillset, being able to keep her teammates alive, provide a powerful targetable Buster buff, and also being able to contribute offensively with her Berserker class. However, the frailty from being a Berserker is often more troublesome than it is worth, as it makes Nightingale a frustratingly inconsistent Servant in most stall teams and relegates her to the short-term buff bot role. Her Noble Phantasm as of this moment is also quite weak without its future update, further reducing her effectiveness.
Sanzang is currently the best offensive Caster with some nice supportive skills. Her ability to instantly charge her NP bar also makes her fantastic at doing frontal burst damage, but the lack of an NP upgrade (which she will receive in the future) and strong offensive self-buffs severely hamper her damage output over the course of a battle.
Orion is one of the best male killers in the game alongside Euryale. This grants her plenty of opportunities to shine, particularly in Challenge Quests with strong male bosses. Her highly defensive skills and the powerful secondary effects on her Noble Phantasm are particularly consistent with her role. Unfortunately, Orion is, quite frankly, much weaker outside of Arts teams. Her reliance on an AQQ chain to generate NP, poor Attack stat and lack of powerful skills make her not worth including in generic teams most of the time.
Altera is a heavy statstick with amazing Attack stats and good skills. What separates Altera from her counterparts, Mordred and Altria, who are quite similar, is that Altera is not just simply an AoE farmer thanks to her strong basic card damage. Once she gets a Strengthening Quest for her second skill, Altera can also perform decently as a Buster Critical Damage Dealer.
Trading her signature Excalibur for her divine spear, Altria Pendragon’s performance has definitely improved. While an instant 50% NP gauge charge is incredibly useful for farming, it is not enough to propel her to even higher tiers. Her skillset is still fairly one dimensional and as a result, she offers little to the team after launching her Rhongomyniad.
The genius painter might not be a force to be reckoned with, but her farming ability is definitely above average. The combination of Pioneer of the Stars and Golden Rule (Body) allows Da Vinci-chan to easily charge her NP gauge compared to most of her competition. Regrettably, she does not have much to offer to the team due to her lackluster Caster damage output and a lack of teamwide utilities on her skills.
Having a quite unique playstyle amongst Lancers, the dearest friend of the King of Heroes has a lot of tricks to his game. From a powerful single-target Noble Phantasm, strong Star and NP generation to one of the best self-heal skills in the game, Enkidu can fulfill multiple roles in the party to a good degree. However, they lack a true specialization to propel them to the top of the Lancer ladder. While they are a good generalist, and are quite self-sufficient, in most circumstances they get overshadowed by other premium Lancers who specialize in one thing.
King Hassan is certainly a peculiar Assassin amidst the pool of wacky Quick and Arts murderers. Packing three Buster cards, two strong steroids, a Buster single target Noble Phantasm and the appearance of a Dark Souls boss, one could call him a Berserker in disguise. He is one of the strongest solo Servant in the game thanks to a combination of good damage and fantastic survivability, and can also serve the role of the last man for any challenge quest. However, while his deck heavily improves his capacity for destruction, his Star gen and NP gen take a hit, even with his monstrously high NP gain per hit. Essentially, it makes King Hassan heavily reliant on teammates and getting the right card chains to build up NP charge. Furthermore, his skill set does not provide any relevant form of utility, which is problematic when his class’s damage potential reduces his damage potential.. Ultimately, King Hassan suffers from being a low-utility dedicated damage dealer in a class not very suited for pure damage.
This sadistic Alter Ego is a classic case of how one’s class can tremendously elevate or hinder a Servant’s potential. Meltryllis is not lacking in most aspects, possessing good NP and Star Generation, decent utility, strong sustained damage and better survivability than most. However, her Alter Ego class means her damage is rarely, if ever, the best against certain enemies. Unfortunately, specialization is generally better over the long run as a Master's roster grows ever larger.
Yet, Meltryllis does become more relevant in the future thanks to a combination of a Rank Up that makes her Melt Virus much easier to use, and the existence of better support for Quick Servants. For now, she remains a strong Servant, but one that is still biding her time.
Arjuna has a relatively poorly optimized kit. His card layout, short steroid, and generation stats are less than ideal for his damage role, while his strongest skill, Hero of the Endowed, is gated by a high cooldown. Arjuna does possess good base stats and a decently strong AoE Noble Phantasm, enough to fulfill the role of a farmer very well. His long-lasting debuff Immunity after his second Interlude will make him more useful for some debuff heavy challenging encounters.
AoE Instant Death is not an amazing niche, but it can be quite useful from time to time, especially for farming. Ryougi Shiki’s offense is not top tier, but on the other hand she makes up for it with her extreme bulk, capable of surviving for a long time on the field and continuing to use her Noble Phantasm.
By virtue of being an Avenger, Edmond has an extremely high Attack stat. His skillset is also by no means bad, but he is highly held back by the un-upgraded modifier on his Noble Phantasm, a lack of a Critical Stars gathering buffs, and the lack of Ruler enemies in general to make use of his class advantage.
Queen Medb's performance shifts over time, and with her NP Upgrade she has already gained much more power. While her Anti-Male attribute grants her a good niche, her low Attack and middling skill set ultimately hold her back in terms of general performance. She does have one more Skill Upgrade to look forward to, which helps to shore up her offensive performance in particular.
Iskandar is a cannon that often can shoot only once, but hits with a truckload of cannon fire. His skills are all short-term buffs and his stats are nothing extraordinary to help carry his weight. He is often used solely as a farmer who is done most of the time after using his Noble Phantasm, and the current lack of Interludes to upgrade both his AoE damage and NP generation put a bigger dent in his firepower.
Shuten has a rare niche of being an AoE Arts Assassin with a plethora of debuffs. She also has good base stats, and strong NP & Critical Star generation. Her problems lie in her poor Noble Phantasm damage, the low values on each of her individual debuffs and her lackluster skillset. She also does not function particularly well outside of Arts teams, and even in Arts teams her performance is not strong enough to elevate her to the next tier.
Illya possesses the highest NP damage value of all Casters currently in the game, a niche further improved on by her future NP upgrade. However, outside of NP damage Illya is plagued by a plethora of problems. Foremost is her NP gain, which stands on the lower side even when her passive NP charge and NP gain buffs are taken into account, including the one granted by her future NP upgrade. Another problem is the ATK & DEF debuffs Illya gains after using her NP, which decreases her effectiveness for a while. Regardless, Illya is still a good Servant to have due to her single-target niche, but there are a lot of aspects in which she loses out compared to her competitors.
There is no denying that MHXA becomes a good Servant down the road, but much of her strength is absent on her initial release. The current lack of a strong steroid, combined with her low base Attack, does not lend her enough firepower to compete with the current upper tier Berserkers in term of raw damage output, even with her fantastic NP generation rate and decent Star generation rate.
Furthermore, while she has a high HP base and a self-heal, MHXA still suffers from the same survivability problems that plague most Berserkers with paper thin durability. Her Anti-Saber niche grants her some use, as she can potentially outdamage most Archers, but she lacks their defensive benefits against Sabers. All in all, MHXA is by no means a terrible Servant, but at this point in time, she does not have all the necessary tools to show her true strength just yet.
Archer of Shinjuku has many tools in his arsenal. Packing exceptional ST Noble Phantasm damage thanks to multiple steroids, strong teamwide offensive utility, and a kit well-suited for Critical teams, this dandy shooter is a versatile Archer that can work in different teams.
However, versatility can be both a virtue and a vice in Fate/Grand Order, and Archer of Shinjuku is a fantastic example of that conundrum. He can work as either an NP spamming Servant with his triple Arts deck and NP battery, or as a Critical Damage Dealer, but he does not particularly excel at either role. Furthermore, his access to only a single Buster card reduces his direct damage potential as well as making it more difficult to choose a right teammate for him. The lack of any form of survivability is also an issue, and without protection from teammates, he can be taken out quickly in tougher missions. As a result, he tends to get sidelined for Archers who excel better at particular niches.
Regardless, Archer of Shinjuku is a solid Archer who can consistently give a passable performance in most scenarios, but does not have enough of a true niche to shine above his more specialized competitors.
This lady-killer version of King Arthur shares many similar traits in terms of gameplay with the original Altria Pendragon. While he packs incredible base stats compared to most Sabers in the game, his skill set is altogether quite simplistic in an increasingly competitive roster. His third skill, Giant Beast Slaying, is what sets him apart from most of his competitors, offering a small NP battery skill and an unusual niche against Giant enemies. As a result, he is quite useful for day-to-day and event farming
However, it is not enough to offset his otherwise average skill set and relatively low Saber AoE NP Damage. Only after his massive buff to Intuition (ETA: June 2021), will he incorporate a more distinct identity as a Buster Critical Saber.
At first sight, Kiara has some standout skills with a wide array of strong effects tacked on and several amazing passives. However, she is severely hamstrung by her poor damage output and the high cooldown on all of her skills. Being an Arts Alter Ego with wide coverage, Kiara is a decent alternative for Masters with limited Servant rosters and a preference for Arts Servants, but her value diminishes as more options are available. One primary advantage is her strong NP charge opening up some nice farming opportunities via Arts refunding.
Kiara is definitely not a terrible Servant even in her initial state, but her lack of focus on a specialization means she is rarely if ever the best choice for a task. Luckily for this Devilish Bodhisattva, her usefulness will increase notably in the future with two Rank Up quests.
MHX’s strong base stats and fantastic NP and Star Generation are let down by her lackluster skillset, as well as an extremely limited niche in killing Saberface enemies. She is a good statstick of an Assassin who would do quite well against Rider enemies most of the time, but her downsides are too great compared to other available counterparts.
Despite being the face of the franchise, Altria’s skill set is currently simply too vanilla for a game like Fate Grand Order. She is quite similar to Iskander in terms of skills and stats, except her skills are all slightly worse value-wise. Furthermore, she has a multitude of strong competitors for the same role. While Altria does have access to the most damaging AoE NP among all Sabers, her true potential only unlocks once she receives her NP Charge via a future Rank Up.