Introduction

The very first new years guaranteed gacha has finally shown its face. Whereas last year a similar guaranteed gacha was part of the Thanksgiving celebrations, this year the guaranteed gacha is back to where it originally was on the JP server.

For new Masters a quick summary: the guaranteed gacha will 100% summon at least one 5* Servant. Unlike normal banners, Masters can select only one of these banners, can only roll once, and these banners can only be rolled for with Paid Quartz. This time around the Servants are divided according to their classes. Additionally, all Banners contain all story-locked Servants & rarities of their class even if Masters have not cleared the required Story Chapters yet! Edison can be rolled from the Caster Gacha for example.

The guaranteed gacha is often the place where f2p Masters tend to lose their innocence, and where the odds are actually rather good at getting something you are specifically rolling for. But it is also the place where the most evil of spooks occur. Do you want another duplicate, good sir/madam?

Balancing who you really want, and what is the smart, safe, choice, isn’t easy at all. In this guide we will try to give a little bit of extra information and value to each of the options and some considerations to contemplate. We can’t make this decision for you however, and it remains a gamble even if the odds are good.

Paid Quartz

Remember, only Paid Quartz can be used for this banner. Paid Quartz is Saint Quartz that can only be obtained from purchasing Saint Quartz from the Da Vinci Store with cold hard currency. It is impossible to obtain this Saint Quartz in-game through quests, log-ins, etc.

When purchasing Saint Quartz, make sure to pay special attention to how many Saint Quartz the pack actually contains and how many of those Saint Quartz are Bonus Quartz. Bonus Quartz do NOT, I repeat, do NOT count towards the Paid Quartz amount and cannot be used for the guaranteed gacha. Try not to underestimate the amount of money you need to spend to participate in this banner.

Options Pack(s) Paid Quartz Bonus Quartz Price
Cheapest 25 + 4 + 1 30 17 ~$29
Full Pack 42 42 34 ~$40

Essentially, going past the required 30 Paid Quartz with a bigger pack can grant a fair bit of Saint Quartz extra for future banners. But, whether that trade-off is worth it depends on your own budget. The excess Paid Quartz can be saved up and used for the next guaranteed gacha banners.

The next guaranteed gacha will be in July 2019. It’s the most random guaranteed gacha of them all: All 5* Servants ever released will be a part of that banner and it’s a complete shot in the dark as to what will tumble out of that one.

Banner Advice & The Fear of Failure

Alright, so, with the Paid Quartz purchased, what’s next? Which banner should be rolled on?

Well, the easy answer to that is: Roll for who you like! Which banner contains the most Servants you would enjoy playing with and roll for that!

What? You expected more? Oh alright then.

In my (entirely personal) opinion, what seems to set the tone more than anything else is avoiding failure, that is, avoiding disappointment. This is especially relevant as you have to open your wallet to even participate in this banner. 

Rolling a Servant you really did not want may cause more harm than the happiness resulting from actually rolling the Servant that you were aiming for. The feeling of missing out on something, or suffering from a bad deal can really sour the entire game experience. This disappointment may occur even if what you have actually gained is something that is, in isolation, a good deal.

That would be my personal advice: To try to avoid a situation which has a good chance of disappointment, and to consider a “safer” alternative if there is one. Some Masters have downright quit playing over the results of previous guaranteed gachas. Still, for some Masters who pine for that one particular Servant, the odds are probably too big to give up. Try not to be too emotionally involved and prepare yourself for what may happen if the pendulum does not swing in your favor. Expect disappointment, and hope for the best.

And remember: even if the odds are high, even this gacha is gambling.

Servants in the Guaranteed gacha

Gameplay-wise, the answer to which banners are really tempting is more easily answered. Of course, the various writeups will provide a decent picture of each Servant within these banners, as will the Tier List Explanation to a certain extent. Always keep in mind that our explanations remain subjective to a certain degree - and that they are locked to the current state of the NA server. Some Servants do see some changes in the upcoming period and have more “value” as we move through newer content.

There are two main factors, aside from your personal tastes of course, to take into consideration: Duplicates and holes in your Servant roster.

For many Masters, especially those who tend to spend very little on the game, rolling a duplicate is often a disappointment. A new Servant often provides new gameplay, a new goal and of course more gameplay options. Banners that contain Servants you rolled in the past are therefore less tempting, and Masters should keep in mind that a duplicate is always possible if they choose such a banner anyway. Story-locked Servants are extra tempting to roll for as they cannot appear as a spook in most common rate-ups.

Similarly, it generally takes a while for a Servant Roster to have all possible roles and classes covered. Often, there is one class or role (AoE, ST, Support, etc.) that isn’t as readily available. Using this gacha to fill that hole is a really solid strategy. A special note for the Support role here: for Masters without Merlin/Tamamo/Waver and to an extent, Gilgamesh (Caster), Helena Blavatsky, and so forth, the Caster banner has incredible value. A high rarity support Caster of your own yields some incredible benefits during hard Quests, or, in the case of Waver, farming possibilities.

The following table will have some extra commentary and advice on each banner. Again, these are subjective and need to be taken with a measure of salt.

Saber Class
Value The Saber banner isn’t that special, and only contains normal Servants. Any of these Sabers can spook you on any banner - plus they aren’t that dissimilar to some of the 4* alternatives such as Altria (Alter).
Verdict: Roll for love or if you really lack Sabers.
Class Servant Notes
Benefits: Her future Rank Up upgrades her Intuition with an up to 30% NP gauge Boost. Very solid farmer after Rank Up and an excellent long-term investment.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Received her Star Gathering upgrade and is a nice jack-of-all-trades for farming and harder quests. Remains consistently strong.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Excellent farmer and destroyer of Saber-faces. Unlike Altria, she doesn’t need to wait for her Rank Up.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Archer Class
Value A very specialized (male!) banner. There’s a mix of heavy farming and high specialization. Tesla is a real stand-out here though. Since basically all Archers are awesome, a lack of gold rarity Archers isn’t a big problem.
Verdict: Roll for love or to get one of the strong Archer farmers. Orion is a common spook and one of the most owned Servants in the game, so only roll if a copy of him is acceptable.
Class Servant Notes
Benefits: Anti-male specialist that performs well in Arts compositions. Orion is incredibly steady in hard quests, even if the enemy is female - but Orion is less useful when farming.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Story-locked, and an absolutely amazing farmer. Gets a Rank Up this year that further improves his damage.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Arjuna is a strong farming Servant, and his compatibility with a Kaleidoscope gives him excellent value either way. Gets an Interlude that improves his Clairvoyance, which makes him nearly immune to debuffs.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Lancer Class
Value A very nice selection of Servants, and a good chance to get the story-locked Altria (Lancer). Plenty of Masters saved for the Summer banner and may have skipped her banner. Still, all these Servants are useful.
Verdict: + Roll for love, but outside of duplicates, this banner can’t really go wrong.
Class Servant Notes
Benefits: An upgraded NP in the future, and his anti-divine niche, are both incredible assets. His skill set is already very potent as well. A great Servant all-around that can both farm and destroy hard quests.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Story-locked. A King (Queen?) of farming. Doesn’t deal as much sustained damage, but there’s great value in owning her to speed up farming.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: A future upgrade will see Enkidu’s solo potential become even better through a new evasion. His anti-divine utility is also more relevant than you’d expect.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Rider Class
Value With Queen Medb receiving even more upgrades the next two years, this banner is pretty amazing. None of the Servants will be a disappointment in the long run. Highly Recommended!
Verdict: ++ If the Caster banner is not an option (duplicates…), this banner yields awesome returns. It’s the least predictable banner though, with 4 possibilities.
Class Servant Notes
Benefits: Great value for farming, and incredibly convenient for farming QP. Considering how often QP needs to be farmed - a very nice quality of life boost.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Ozymandias is simply incredible all-around. He performs well in the hardest quests, supports well and can even be used for farming.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Story-locked. Don’t let her current placement in the tier list fool you, Medb will receive 2 more upgrades in the future. Not only will her NP get an upgrade, so will her charm skill (defense down). In the long-term, Medb is a great investment.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Story-locked. Much like Ozymandias, Quetzalcoatl can do it all. She performs really well in Challenge Quests, can boost her NP gauge for farming, and can even vastly boost the performance of other Buster Servants.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Caster Class
Value With 2 powerful Supports in the banner, this banner is excellent for any Master who doesn’t have either of them. This banner really comes down to duplicates, as rolling a duplicate Waver or Tamamo is not ideal for most Masters.
Verdict: ++ Excellent banner to roll on, but any duplicates tend to be bad news.
Class Servant Notes
Benefits: At this stage in the game, Waver’s most powerful aspect is his sheer NP gauge granting capability and versatility. He can be used anywhere, and owning one of your own makes life really comfortable.
Duplicate: Improves the Defense Down on his NP. It can be useful for one-turning raids, during hard quests, or other edge cases. Rolling a duplicate not ideal however as his NP isn’t the most important part of his support most of the time.
Benefits: The lynchpin of Arts teams, and is incredible for grinding down difficult content. While her support is not focused on speed, it is incredible for creating stalling teams and unkillable teams. Still, her Arts support is quite useful for some Arts farming Servants (like Summer Mordred).
Duplicate: Improves the healing from her NP by a modest amount. Perhaps, the least useful NP upgrade out of all available Servants in the guaranteed gacha.
Benefits: With an NP upgrade coming in the next half year, Xuanzang can punch some really hard holes in Assassins. Xuanzang excels at pumping out rapid successive NPs, so her effective damage output will be greatly improved. Considering there are some nasty Assassin opponents ahead of us, she really has a fair a bit of value.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Assassin & Extra Class
Value What you see is what you will probably get on this banner. With a 50/50 chance for either Jack or Jeanne, this banner will come down to whether you want one of them. Jeanne receives her important NP upgrade this year as well. For day to day quests, Jeanne isn’t a common pick. Meanwhile, Jack is good, but may be replaced for farming depending on your roster.
Verdict: + If you want either of them - this is the banner to go for.
Class Servant Notes

Benefits: Jack the Ripper remains the strongest Offensive option among Assassins for tackling hard bosses. She poops out stars like nobody else, sustains herself, and has an amazing anti-female niche with some added utility (buff removal!) to boot.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: Jeanne d’Arc receives her NP upgrade at last this year. The NP upgrade propels her to the top when it comes to surviving during the hardest content. Rather than stunning her, her NP will cleanse the debuffs of the whole party instead.
Duplicate: The standard Defense Up from her NP is a bit lackluster, but with an NP upgrade it actually triples the base value of her Defense Up. Not bad, but for most Masters, probably not ideal compared to a new Servant.
Berserker Class
Value Not a bad banner considering the future upgrades of Nightingale and Vlad. The star of the show is probably Cu Chulainn (Alter) for most people. This banner is an excellent chance to try and get him.
Verdict: + It’s a good banner considering Vlad’s skill upgrade is getting closer and closer.
Class Servant Notes
Benefits: Vlad will receive a skill upgrade this year that vastly improves his Morph ability. After the upgrade, Morph will grant both an Attack Up and more Defense Up. Vlad becomes a bit of a dark horse pick in Arts compositions and much more sturdy than his Berserker classing implies.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.
Benefits: With Merlin out, Nightingale isn’t the premier source of a massive Buster buff anymore. But, Nightingale can do nice damage of her own and receives 2 future buffs. Her NP becomes a very potent tool for rendering enemy NPs ineffective when Invulnerability or Evasion aren’t viable options.
Duplicate: Improves the healing on her NP by a modest amount. Much like Tamamo, it’s one of the least useful improvements from a duplicate.
Benefits: Story-locked. Cu Chulainn remains a top option for destroying basically everything in his path. The only snag in his path are enemies with Sure Hit/Pierce Invulnerability or enemies that hit all party members at once.
Duplicate: More powerful NP.

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