Table of Contents
|Base Atk||1,692||Base HP||2,091|
|Max Atk||10,546||Max HP||14,259|
|Grail Atk||11,544||Grail HP||15,621|
Attack / HP Growth
“Why don’t I just use an incantation, you ask? Well, I mean, isn’t it easier to just punch them?”
An immortal magus, Fou’s part-time punching bag, and possibly the most prominent kingmaker in history, Merlin’s capabilities as a Servant far exceed even his own lofty reputation. The Magus of Flowers allows virtually any Buster-oriented damage dealer to reach their true potential, enabling even the more utility-oriented ones to put out strong damage. Bringing nearly every single offensive buff a Buster Servant could ask for (Buster Up, ATK Up, and Critical Damage Up), Merlin is a one-man support army who takes full advantage of multiplicative buff stacking. What truly sets Merlin apart from other supports is that he can also grant sustain and support through party-wide Healing per turn, NP Charge per turn and Critical Star Generation per turn from his NP, as well as an NP Charge, Star Generation and even party-wide Invincibility from his skills. Merlin’s performance is thus spectacular during Challenge Quests.
As with every Servant though, Merlin does have a few weaknesses in practice. The biggest flaw in his kit is the lack of DEF Up buffs, which can make his team particularly vulnerable to bosses that can pierce Invincibility, and enemies who do high damage with their basic attacks. Many of his features are also tied to his NP, most notably the NP Charge per turn and the Healing per turn. The resulting ramp-up time, as well as his instant NP charge being “only” 20%, makes him less convenient in the stages where his magnificent damage buffs are overkill. Lastly, Merlin’s effectiveness in non-Buster teams is a bit reduced, but still good.
Overall, Merlin is the ideal support for challenge quests, especially for Buster teams. His few flaws are rather trivial compared to the massive benefits he brings to a team. The Magus of Flowers is easily one of the most powerful Support Servants to have ever been released in the game. Befitting his lore, he is one who can be expected to stick around until the end of the universe.Merlin's Round Table Discussion
Buster Damage Support
When used alongside a Buster Servant, Merlin provides at minimum two offensive buffs, namely, Dreamlike Charisma’s party-wide ATK Up buff and Hero Creation’s targetable Buster Performance Up buff. Their high values crown him as the best Buster damage support. Furthermore, Merlin’s third skill also contains a huge Critical Damage Up buff (although it only lasts for one turn), which synergizes with his star generation capability. These factors allow any Master to use critical-based strategies to great effect, even with Servants who are not traditionally critical damage dealers.
Provides Party Sustain
One of the reasons as to why Merlin is exceptional is that he provides the means for (Buster) teams to survive longer battles and gain NP gauge. Merlin provides stable healing via his spammable NP’s Heal per Turn buff and Hero Creation’s MAX HP Increase. But the biggest tool in Merlin’s defensive arsenal is arguably Illusion's party-wide Invincibility which allows any party to easily brush off enemy NP turns. The same skill also applies a Critical Chance debuff on enemies, further augmenting the party’s survivability.
While most Servants experience periods of downtime, Merlin’s high NP gain (including passive NP gain per turn) and five turn NP duration mean that his NP has a very high uptime once he gets going. As supports rarely equip Starting NP Gauge CEs, he may need a few turns to charge his first NP, but afterwards the party will consistently receive an influx of Healing, NP charge, and critical stars every turn.
Vulnerable to Sustained High Damage Attacks & Pierce Invulnerability
Merlin’s main defensive problem is the lack of a reliable DEF Up buff, which often leaves the party vulnerable against harder-hitting (critical) attacks. As his NP heals over time, a team member may be bursted down before they get the opportunity to heal up. It is for this reason that Masters may wish to pair him with Servants that provide defensive buffs against enemies with pierce Invincibility, or those capable of dealing heavy damage with their normal attacks.
Requires Ramp-up Time
A lot of Merlin’s general support is tied up in his NP, the benefits of which the team won’t be able to access until he has used it the first time. While the NP Charge per turn effects gained from Garden of Avalon and Merlin’s own Mixed Blood passive allow him to have a very high NP uptime afterwards, the initial ramp-up period leaves the party rather vulnerable in faster-paced (boss) battles. In addition, due to the effects-over-time nature of Merlin’s NP, buff removal sets him back slightly more than some other supports.
Trades NP Charging Speed for Higher Damage Ceiling
When it comes to farming, Merlin’s main benefit is the sheer power of the (Buster) buffs he provides, allowing players to breeze through the final enemy wave. However, farming speed is often dictated by how fast NPs can be charged from the get-go and what CEs can be brought. One aspect in which Merlin isn’t as powerful as his direct competitor(s) is the on-demand NP Charge (20%) he can give. Quite often, especially during events, it’s faster to simply borrow Zhuge Liang instead. Due to his Buster focus, Merlin is also less flexible when it comes to creating farming teams.
Craft Essence Recommendation
Merlin is a pretty self-sufficient Servant who works great even without CEs, making him one of the ideal candidates for Bond Point Up CEs (in fact, most Merlin supports will be holding this CE). When “normal” CEs are used, his picks generally revolve around further amplifying his Passive Star Generation per turn, or Passive NP Charge per turn. He is also a Servant whose Bond Craft Essence directly benefits his main damage support niche, making it an alluring option as well. Lastly, Starting NP Gauge CEs are also an option to access Merlin’s NP early in certain fights.
A Fragment of 2030 / His Rightful Place
Although Merlin’s NP provides a decent amount of critical stars (especially when Overcharged), it is often not quite enough for the whole party’s needs. Equipping passive Star Generation CEs helps greatly with this, allowing even Servants with average critical weight to unleash reliable critical hits.
Further amplifying Merlin’s already-high NP gain, using passive NP generation CEs allows Merlin to use his NP far more often even without using any of his command cards, indirectly increasing the amount of benefits received by the party. They also help reduce his ramp-up time, although not to the extent of starting NP Gauge CEs.
The Furthest Tower
Increasing the party’s Buster Performance and Critical Damage, Merlin’s personal bond CE is a viable option for him - especially as he is not hindered by its low stat bonuses.
Kaleidoscope / Little Halloween Devil
The use of these CEs effectively eliminates Merlin’s ramp-up time, allowing him to get into his NP cycle early in the fight. This can be especially useful when Merlin’s teammates are those who also require ramp-up time to get going, as the NP charge per turn granted by Garden of Avalon would be invaluable. However, using Starting NP Gauge trades long term benefits for short term responsiveness.
Merlin works perfectly even without any CE, making him the perfect Servant to equip Chaldea Lunchtime on. While harder quests may require the use of other CEs to augment his capabilities, there are only a few such quests, and he can be safely equipped with this CE most of the time.
Level Up Skill Recommendation
As a support, Merlin is heavily dependent on his skill levels to perform well. It is therefore recommended to level all of his skills as soon as possible. The leveling order varies a little depending on whether Merlin is being used primarily for farming, or if Challenge Quest performance is key.
Not only does Dreamlike Charisma A increase the party’s ATK for three turns, it also charges the party’s NP gauge by 20%, which when combined with its low cooldown makes it a ridiculously efficient skill. While the NP charge does not scale with level, this skill is still extremely good for its low cooldown, and is generally leveled second unless one is focusing on Challenge Quest performance..
Illusion A’s main usage lies in its absurd party-wide Invincibility, allowing the party to easily defend against bosses’ NP turns. It also features two situationally useful side-effects, with a Critical Star Generation buff which is highly useful with high hit count teammates, and a Critical Chance debuff to use against enemies with threatening critical capabilities. While Illusion’s long base cooldown means that the chances it will be used twice in a single fight are rather low, the cooldown reduction gained from leveling this skill often determines whether a boss NP will wipe the party in longer fights.
As Merlin’s primary damage-buffing skill, Hero Creation EX nearly doubles in effectiveness when maxed. Although the Max HP Increase buff does not scale too hard with levels, the sheer damage increase easily makes it his highest priority skill, especially when cooldown reduction is taken into account.
Available from the start
Grants party Invincibility for 1 turn.
Increases party's critical star generation rate for 1 turn.
Reduces all enemies' critical attack chance for 3 turns.
|Lvl||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||Star Rate +||30%||32%||34%||36%||38%||40%||42%||44%||46%||50%|
|Crit Chance -||10%||11%||12%||13%||14%||15%||16%||17%||18%||20%|
Unlocks after 1st Ascension
Increases one ally's Buster performance for 3 turns.
Increases their Max HP for 3 turns.
Increases their critical damage for 1 turn.
|Max HP +||2000||2100||2200||2300||2400||2500||2600||2700||2800||3000|
|Crit Damage +||50%||55%||60%||65%||70%||75%||80%||85%||90%||100%|
Unlocks after 3rd Ascension
Garden of Avalon
Recovers party's HP every turn for 5 turns.
Gains critical stars every turn for 5 turns.
|Level||1||2||3||4||5||HP Regen +||1000||1500||1750||1875||2000|
|Star Regen +||5||10||15||20||25|
Skill Enhancement Materials
|1 → 2||200,000|
|2 → 3||400,000||
|3 → 4||1,200,000|
|4 → 5||1,600,000|
|5 → 6||4,000,000||
|6 → 7||5,000,000||
|7 → 8||10,000,000||
|8 → 9||12,000,000||
|9 → 10||20,000,000|
|NP Charge per Hit (%)||0.81%|
|NP Charge when Attacked (%)||3%|
|# of Hits (A)||2|
|# of Hits (B)||5|
|# of Hits (Q)||3|
|# of Hits (EX)||6|
|Trait 1||Earth or Sky||Trait 6|
|Trait 2||Humanoid||Trait 7|
|Trait 3||Male||Trait 8|
|Trait 4||Servant||Trait 9|
|Trait 5||Weak to Enuma Elish||Trait 10|
|Instant Death Chance||36.00%|
|Country/Place of Origin|
|Seiyuu (CV)||Sakurai Takahiro|