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Zhuge Liang (El-Melloi II)

Table of Contents

Tier
1

Rarity
ID37
Cost16
ClassCaster
Attr.Mankind
Base Atk1,637Base HP2,091
Max Atk 10,598 Max HP 14,259
Grail Atk 11,601 Grail HP 15,621

Stat Ratings

Attack / HP Growth

Overview

‘I will only ever serve one person. Just think of me as another piece on the board.’

Zhuge Liang (Lord El-Melloi II), AKA Waver Velvet, is a man of many names and many talents, and he brings all of those talents to bear as one of the best supports in the game. Packing a straightforward but broadly effective kit, the Great Tactician is an Arts-based Caster who eschews buffing any one specific card type in favor of being flexible enough to fit into any team. Zhuge’s ability to not only buff the entire team offensively and defensively, but also charge their NP gauges at the same time, allows him to consistently elevate the performance of any team composition he finds himself in. To top his kit off, his own NP is packed with utility perfect for stalling and boosting team damage even further.

However, even the titans of Chaldea aren’t perfect, and Zhuge Liang is no exception. Though his teamwide buffs are fantastic in value, they are also saddled with slightly longer cooldowns. Furthermore, Zhuge’s own lack of healing or hard defensive options means the team needs to bring another servant to help with long-term survival, or simply blitz fights before that becomes an issue. Lastly, his single-target high-potency skill buffs Critical Damage, but Zhuge himself has no way of providing Critical Star support with his single Quick card and all-around low hit counts. Luckily, these weaknesses can be covered fairly easily via careful Craft Essence and teammate selection.

Considering his numerous strengths and high consistency, Zhuge Liang greatly improves any Chaldea he chooses to grace with his presence. Zhuge is one of the most useful farming Servants in the game, and is also consistently a standout pick for high-difficulty Challenge Quests.

Strengths

Strong All-Around Team Support and Utility

Unlike some of the other notable SSR support Servants, Zhuge Liang doesn’t limit himself to supporting any specific card type. His full value is displayed in almost every team equally well due to the universal nature of basic ATK, NP charge and DEF buffs. No team would refuse these simple, yet effective basic stat boosts. His ability to supercharge one Servant’s Critical Damage by up to 50% for three out of every five turns makes him a good cornerstone of strong Critical Damage teams as well. Not for nothing is Zhuge considered the most adaptable Servant in the game.

Flexible NP Charging

Zhuge Liang boasts the best on-demand supportive NP charging capability in the game. Able to give the entire frontline 20% NP charge, and an additional 30% more to a single lucky candidate, he is one of the most valuable members of any farming team. The flexibility he grants in team composition and CE selection cannot be overstated, especially during events where the pool of choices is already pinched. The ability to double up by borrowing a Friend Support Zhuge and give any Servant in the game a full NP gauge on the first turn regardless of CE or other factors is just one of the many benefits he brings.

High Utility on NP

Zhuge Liang’s Unreturning Formation recreates his legendary Stone Sentinel Maze, and is exactly as cunning and effective as you would expect. Starting off with a guaranteed NP drain on all enemies, it has a moderate chance to stun all targets (scaling with overcharge) as well, making it a powerful stalling tool. Furthermore, it inflicts a hefty DEF debuff on enemies, which makes it an ideal candidate to start off NP chains, as well as inflicting a Curse damage over time effect. With his triple Arts deck, high base NP gain, and the NP charge on his skills, Zhuge can use this handy utility bomb fairly often, leaving enemies paralyzed and frustrated as they fail to use their NPs and take increasingly higher damage.

Weaknesses

Limited Defensive Options

While the double defenses of Tactician’s Advice are extremely powerful, especially when combined with other DEF buffs, Zhuge is unlikely to survive being hit by an enemy NP and has no way to save allies from one either. As he lacks an Evasion or Invulnerability, or even a Guts, he relies entirely on his NP to stall out enemy NPs, unless an ally can cover for him. In addition, because Zhuge doesn’t have any other defensive buffs, the team is vulnerable during the 3-turn downtime of Tactician’s Advice at max rank. The final gap in his armor is that he brings no sustain whatsoever, meaning the team may run out of steam in longer quests.

Lower Ceiling than More Specialized Supports

While Zhuge Liang excels at granting NP charge quickly, and can step into any support role and do it well, he does lack the peaks of dedicated, specialized supports. Without his NP, Zhuge often cannot supply the sheer improved performance/damage a dedicated card type support might provide, nor can his defense buffs provide as much defense as a dedicated tank or stalling Support. Similarly, while he can apply a critical buff, he cannot supply the critical stars to go with it, instead requiring additional sources of Star Generation, whether from CEs, other supports, or a damage dealer who can create their own stars. In essence, Zhuge will greatly amplify all parts of a party’s performance, but cannot completely cover any aspect alone.

Craft Essence Recommendation

Zhuge Liang can do his job of all-around team buffing very well regardless of what CE he’s equipped with, but some choices stand out as natural complements to his kit. Valuable CE choices include Passive Star Generation, Passive NP Generation, or NP Gain CEs in order to either enable his Critical support or cast his useful NP frequently.

  • A Fragment of 2030 / His Rightful Place

Passive Critical Star generation is an extremely powerful effect on any supportive Servant, and this is doubly true given Zhuge’s crit buff and lack of other star generation methods. A Fragment of 2030 is the strongest passive star generation CE in the game, and can cover for Zhuge’s weakness in that area, especially if another frontline Servant also has a copy. His Rightful Place is weaker, but provides handy Starting NP Gauge instead.

  • Prisma Cosmos

If Zhuge is run as the sole support or if star generation isn’t required, the passive NP generation of Prisma Cosmos is a potent alternative. In conjunction with his skills and Arts chains, he should be able to NP regularly even if his command cards aren’t selected often..

  • Formal Craft / Little Halloween Devil / Magical Girl of Sapphire

Alternatively, if Zhuge takes a more active role, boosting his active NP generation is another way to improve his NP spam. Formal Craft boosts his NP gain and the damage on his most important card type, while Little Halloween Devil and Magical Girl of Sapphire grant starting gauge and improved overall NP generation.

  • Golden Captures the Carp / Ox-Demon King / Kaleidoscope

If Zhuge Liang is used in combination with the Chaldea Combat Uniform’s Order Change or to clear a quest in a single turn, these CEs all provide instant access to immediate performance boosts for the team. Kaleidoscope will allow for instant access to his NP for further damage improvement, and for short quests will also handily outperform Prisma Cosmos in total NP gauge received.

  • Chaldea Lunchtime / Heroic Spirit Portrait

Zhuge isn’t particularly dependent on any specific CE during low-difficulty or farming quests, where he mostly serves as a fast NP battery for the team. He is a strong candidate to hold Bond Point CEs like Chaldea Lunchtime or Heroic Spirit Portraits.

Level Up Skill Recommendation

Zhuge Liang boasts a fantastic and well-rounded skill set. All three of his skills possess high numbers, strong effects and benefit greatly from leveling. Although the NP charge on any of his skills is not affected by skill levels, reducing their cooldowns is still essential for improving Zhuge’s performance in challenging content. While maxing all of them is important, the priority can vary depending on available resources and teammates.

  • Discerning Eye is Zhuge’s highest-value buff for a single target in terms of damage values and NP charge, and also has the shortest cooldown of his skills. While it is more situational than his other two buffs, if he is being run in Critical teams, or if you heavily value the larger NP charge, it is worth maxing second; otherwise, max it last.
  • Tactician’s Advice is a fantastic double-layered DEF buff and NP charge, but only the two DEF buffs scale with level (albeit strongly). Its universal applicability and high values make it a good idea to max second, unless the focus is being placed on Zhuge’s ability to enable crit teams, in which case max it third.
  • Tactician’s Command is one of the strongest team ATK buffs in the game, like Charisma on steroids, and the NP charge is the cherry on top. It is universally useful and the entire team’s offensive presence is significantly higher while it is active. The good scaling on the ATK buff and the reduced cooldown are both strong reasons to max it first.

Interlude Quests

Quest Ascen. Bond Reward
Interlude 1
Chapter Completion: Orleans
1 3
Interlude 2
Chapter Completion: Okeanos
2 4
Interlude 3
Chapter Completion: Okeanos
4 5
✔ = Available ✖ = Unavailable

Servant Skills

Discerning Eye A

Increases one ally's critical damage for 3 turns.
Charges their NP gauge by 30%.

Show Info
Lvl12345678910
Crit Damage + 20%23%26%29%32%35%38%41%44%50%
CD 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 5

Available from the start

Tactician's Advice A+

Increases party's defense for 3 turns.
Reduces party's damage taken for 3 turns.
Charges party's NP gauge by 10%.

Show Info
Lvl12345678910
Defense + 20%21%22%23%24%25%26%27%28%30%
Damage Taken - 200230260290320350380410440500
CD 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 6

Unlocks after 1st Ascension

Tactician's Command A+

Increases party's attack for 3 turns.
Increases party's damage dealt for 3 turns.
Charges party's NP gauge by 10%.

Show Info
Lvl12345678910
Attack + 20%21%22%23%24%25%26%27%28%30%
Damage + 200230260290320350380410440500
CD 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 6

Unlocks after 3rd Ascension

Class Skills

Item Construction B

Increase your Debuff Chance Rate by 8%.

Territory Creation A

Increase your Arts Card effectiveness by 10%.

Noble Phantasm

Unreturning Formation

Stone Sentinel Maze
RankClassificationHit-Count
C-Anti-Army
Effect

Reduce all enemy defense (3 turns).
Apply 500 Curse damage (3 turns).
Reduce all enemy NP gauge by 1.

Overcharge Effect

Chance to stun (1 turn).

Level 1 2 3 4 5
Enemy Defense - 10% 20% 25% 27.5% 30%
Charge 100% 200% 300% 400% 500%
Stun Chance 50% 57.5% 65% 72.5% 80%

Unreturning Formation

Stone Sentinel Maze
RankClassificationHit-Count
CAnti-Army
Effect

Upgrade via Interlude 3 .
Reduce all enemy defense (3 turns).
Apply 1,000 curse damage to all enemies (6 turns).
Reduce all enemy NP gauge by 1.

Overcharge Effect

Chance to Stun (1 turn).

Level 1 2 3 4 5
Enemy Defense - 30% 40% 45% 47.5% 50%
Charge 100% 200% 300% 400% 500%
Stun Chance 50% 57.5% 65% 72.5% 80%

Ascension Materials

StageCostMaterials
2
100,000
3
300,000
4
1,000,000
Max
3,000,000

Skill Enhancement Materials

LevelCostMaterials
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

Unit Info

Star Info

Star Absorption50
Star Generation10.8%

NP Info

NP Charge per Hit (%)1.64%
NP Charge when Attacked (%)3%

Hits Info

# of Hits (A)1
# of Hits (B)1
# of Hits (Q)2
# of Hits (EX)3

Traits Info

Trait 1HumanoidTrait 6
Trait 2ServantTrait 7
Trait 3Weak to Enuma ElishTrait 8
Trait 4Brynhild's BelovedTrait 9
Trait 5Trait 10

Death Info

Instant Death Chance34.50%

Other Info

Release HistorySince Launch
GenderMale
AKAs/Aliases/(Fan) Nicknames Waver, Lord El-Melloi II
AlignmentNeutral Good
Country/Place of OriginChina
IllustratorTakeuchi Takashi
Seiyuu (CV)Daisuke Namikawa
SeriesFate/Zero