Buster Critfest

Buster Critfest
Introduction

To contrast with its previous and fellow Buster-centric team, we have the weakest archetype in the early stages of FGO, but by far the strongest for lategame content, mostly due to the power of the servants which fit into this archetype. The Buster Critfest team, as the name suggests, focuses on annihilating the enemy by building up critical stars then unleashing them in devastating single round. Though this team has some more issues than other teams in building up NP gauge or generating consistent critical stars, once certain team members and CE’s get added to the game those weaknesses become trivial.

Strengths
Strengths
  • Highest potential burst damage of any team composition. It isn’t abnormal in the lategame to throw out 150k damage crits on bosses with the right composition, more damage than most single target NP’s will deal.
  • Relatively good consistent damage output, due to the presence of Buster-oriented servants in the team.
  • Tends to synergize with the most effective supports in the game, making the overall consistency of the team better than other teams.
Weaknesses
Weaknesses
  • Tends to lump all the team damage output on a single, fragile unit. Meaning if said fragile unit gets killed, the entire team crumbles.
  • Usually relies on setting up a positive feedback loop of NP’s and skills in order to keep both offensive and defensive buffs up. If said loop gets broken by stuns / charms or just poor card luck, then the effectiveness of the team archetype drops significantly.
  • More dependent on limited SSR servants than most archetypes.
Battle Strategy
Battle Strategy

The Buster Critfest team’s modus operandi is direct, but requires good understanding of the game. Produce NP gauge and stars when not facing a dangerous threat, then use all your buffs at once when the dangerous threat appears, preferably in a NPBB Brave chain with pretty little “100%” critical chance text above the Buster cards.

This kind of scenario is difficult to set up in the game’s current meta, due to a distinct lack of some of the key players in a Buster critical-oriented team. However, that does not mean accomplishing the principle is impossible. Critical stars are the short term resource which you expend to gain more NP gauge and damage output, resulting in faster kills. In the long term, you focus in building up NP gauge on all your servants in order to bring the highest possible damage output versus the most difficult foe.

As a result, you should generally prefer Arts and Quick cards when they appear to produce your short term and long term resources, then use Buster cards to hit hard when you have a bulk of critical stars to use.

In terms of CE’s, the golden ticket to this team is “Piece of year 2030”, more commonly referred to as “2030” by most players. This CE automatically gives your team 8 critical stars every turn, and it stacks with multiple copies for a maximum of 24 stars per turn if all three frontline servants use it. Naturally, this is superb for keeping the critical economy rolling. Asides from 2030, which you shouldn’t run on all of your members for efficiency’s sake, Victor from the Moon and other CE’s which grant a mixture of both Buster boost and critical damage are excellent options for your damage-dealers.

Key Members
Key Members

Though Waver generally works pretty much anywhere, including other team archetypes on this list, he is often best utilized in this team archetype. With powerful offensive and defensive buffs and a strong stalling NP, he can keep the primary damage dealer of the composition alive while also significantly upping their damage. However, the main appeal in this comp is Waver’s targetable critical damage buff, raising damage on crits by a total of 100% for 3 turns, while also providing a big NP gauge charge on a low cooldown. With a team centred on dealing significant damage with crits, this speaks for its own worth.

Often called the ‘discount Waver’, Hans is by no means inferior. In fact, compared to Waver his skillset and NP is more accustomed to this archetype, providing regular critical stars via Innocent Monster, a team critical damage buff with an identical cooldown and similar numbers, and a strong star generation buff on his Noble Phantasm after his interlude in London. Though his skill set isn’t as accustomed to stalling as Waver, nor does he boast as good base stats, he can provide more immediate power to the team, and keep the more fragile members healthy with his NP’s healing.

In sort of a sad way, Lancelot is one of the premier critical damage units in vanilla FGO. With a heavily buster-oriented card set and Berserker offensive stats, the mad knight already hits hard, however in a Buster critfest team he can go even further, using his two skills to aid in producing critical stars with his NP, then soaking them up and blowing the right targets to high hell. His main weaknesses of poor NP gain and fragile statline can be compensated with common Buster crit team supports, and once he gets his skill interlude he becomes even more effective at the role, packing a powerful NP gain and critical damage buff to further his effectiveness.

Gilgamesh has, and will always be, a primarily critical-based servant. With Archer star weight, a powerful star focus skill and high-ranking Independent Action, Gilgamesh works well in any team where stars are plentiful and, due to his high hitcounts all round, he can also supply himself with stars, lessening the burden on his teammates to support his damage output. Gilgamesh and Waver or Andersen together make a very self-contained unit which provides everything you could need for this team archetype, all owing to his very rounded skill set and base statistics.

This is a slightly abnormal mention, but there’s a very limited pool of servants which actually work with this composition, and Leonidas does fit the bill quite well. Though he does not support in a conventional sense, Leonidas has two very useful points going for him in both his ability to permanently taunt the enemy, soaking all the damage with his powerful defensive skills, and his ability to spam his Noble Phantasm, producing 25 stars a pop at NP level 5. When paired with a support unit like Andersen and a specialized damage dealer like Gilgamesh, you can begin to see how useful he can be in protecting the team through more difficult quests. His usefulness only gets even better when he obtains his skill strengthening, giving him a 25% team Buster buff on a short cooldown.

Future Stars
Future Stars

Merlin is hands down the best servant for this archetype. Not only possessing a very solid kit in terms of base stats, he has two great offensive support skills, the most broken support NP in the game, and one which also vastly aids crit-focused teams, then rounds it off with a powerful team regen and a team invulnerability skill. Merlin covers every single weakness of a Buster critfest team immaculately, and also gives the best offensive buffs at the same time. Merlin is the sole reason many people, incorrectly may I add, overvalue Buster critical-orientated servants when trying to formulate tier lists.

If Merlin is the face of the supportive end of this team archetype, then Jeanne Alter is the face of the offensive side. Jeanne Alter’s kit on its own isn’t actually that amazing in terms of numbers, but it is incredibly specialized towards both Buster cards and crits. With the highest attack stat in the game and three offensive skills, Jeanne Alter essentially hits at Berserker power with regular cards, while also having a fearsome NPBB chain when crits get involved. Being an Avenger, the fact she can perform well versus almost every class simply furthers her excellence in this team archetype.

This Japanese Berserker is essentially an upgrade of Lancelot for the purposes of this team archetype. While Yorimitsu’s bases aren’t anything exceptional like the previous two, she does boast a high-damage kit in spite of using an AOE NP, with all the formulas necessary for abusing critical stars, such as a star focus skill and incredibly high star generation from a NPAA chain. When the buster critfest team needs to deal with AOE enemies, Yorimitsu undoubtedly comes out.

Yet another 5* servant to the list, Musashi is an exceptionally abnormal servant, with an unusual skill which doubles her hitcounts and a BBBAQ card set as a Saber. However, this makes her exceptionally good for this kind of team composition, being able of spamming her high-damage NP in powerful brave chains, producing plenty of critical stars, while all the while having powerful utility effects tied to her skills. Compared to Jalter, a much safer and more self-contained pick who can function independently of support servants.

I would feel bad if I didn’t have a non-SSR candidate down here. Jaguarman is, despite her joke character nature, an incredibly solid silver servant, packing all the tools necessary to be a Buster critical damage dealer for this team archetype. She can deal high burst damage, she can apply a dodge, she can produce stars, she has reasonably good NP gain and, most importantly, she can perform a NPBB chain to destroy the enemy. So far as the critical damage end of the team goes, Jaguarman can fulfil the role about as well as gold servants with a few grails lobbed into the pot.