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MMM - Bikini'd Buddhavista Busts Breakage Boundaries, Bonus Beneficient Bride and Bubbly Brat (Summer 2020 Part 1)

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The Modern Magus Magazine

Ah, summer. The time of sweltering heat waves and soothing vacations. Or if you’re from the UK, a bipolar on-off switch of rainstorms and droughts that leaves you wearing a coat as the sun melts you, and becoming an icicle as your electric fan blows a boreal wind straight into your hinies.

It’s for all those reasons that I’m very glad this year’s event is a very safe, summer camp vacation, instead of the chaotic risk that is involved with a beach, desert race, island resort, or god forbid, Nevada in the summer.

And with both Kiara and Abigail Williams as the SSR’s in our gachas, practically NOTHING can go wrong in this event.

...Ah. Well...yep. We’re boned.

NA Release Date: 08/2022

Sessyoin Kiara (Moon Cancer)

Introduction

When I thought she couldn’t get lewder, she had to go and put on near-full body tights and that goddamn cap. That’s more or less a critical hit to my- I mean, many people’s fetishes. Yes. Many, many people. And she also seems to be repeating the same mistake of being an AOE Arts Extra class servant. Let’s hope she doesn’t bear the same pitfalls as her vanilla addition.

Servant Data
Moon Cancer

5

5
Territory Creation EX

Increase your Arts Card effectiveness by 12%.

Foreign World EX

Increase own NP Strength by 12%.

Independent Manifestation C

Increase your Critical Strength by 6%
Increase your Mental Debuff Resist by 6%.
Increase your Death Resist by 6%.

Logos Eater D

Apply Special Defense [Humanoid] for yourself (DEF +14% against Humanoid enemies).

Overview

While the pool of Mooncancers, then again SSR, is still very limited, Kiara at least has a scale to rate herself on, unlike Jinako or BB Summer did. With that in mind, Kiara has high stats for a Mooncancer. While her attack is a modicum lower than BB Summer’s (letting BB assert her dominance as best CCC girl), Kiara has a healthy HP lead in exchange. Nowhere near as much HP as Jinako, but unlike Jinako, he has an attack stat to work with.

Kiara’s passives do a lot for her, too. Both Territory Creation and Foreign World provide a notable boost to her offence, Independent Manifestation provides her a small spread miscellaneous buffs, and Logos Eater, same as her Alter Ego version, makes her more durable than she appears versus a very broad range of foes, including most Servants. So on the whole, more powerful both offensively and defensively than she appears on the surface.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So with all this meandering about the bizarre mechanics of Kiara’s kit, how good does that make her in practice? On one hand:

Lady’s durable, and even provides solid defensive team support. With her high HP pool, passive defense from Logos Eater, the excellent safety net Mermaid’s Meat provides, all on top of a team Evasion buff, Kiara won’t have issues surviving NP’s under duress. And as a bonus perk of the Mooncancer class and her Independent Manifestation, she has extremely good Death Resistance. May not matter too much, but we’ll have to face the Erice CQ again in a rerun, and I know that losing units to an instakill AOE is a nuisance. And who knows, maybe a KH Challenge Quest-style nuisance will show up in this year’s Nero Fest equivalent.

So far as farming goes, Kiara is very solid. While she may be a little less consistent than someone like Space Ishtar (which sounds weird, since Ishtar’s the one with a chance-based skill), she compensates with powerful Wave 3 NP damage, which can take down even pretty chunky bosses when hitting neutral. And while some may consider it ‘cheating’, she’s gonna have a damage boost for this Summer and any following Summer events, including reruns. So it helps her in a small subsect of events, too.

I touched on it lightly, but Kiara’s Wave 3 / Turn 3 / Whatever you’d call it NP damage is very impressive, especially considering the handicaps of her class. Once you pull out the full Arts support for her, she proves a very formidable force for difficult quests, providing Arts teams with a much-desired on-demand defensive option, and getting perks she has little access to otherwise, like Skill CD reduction from Tamamo, or just Casturia enabling her to loop almost indefinitely.

However, she’s still burdened with some flaws:

While her NP damage alone may be high class, her own card damage is a different beast. She lacks any disposable general offensive buffs to aid her card damage, nor any real critical-oriented boosts outside of her Independent Manifestation and star bomb. It makes her a better fit for Casturia, since she doesn’t provide crit support anyway, but it means her single target offense is going to lack compared to other colour equivalents like Arjuna Alter or Dantes.

As always, the burden of having skills with a baker’s dozen of effects means it’s harder to use the individual effects of each skill to their fullest - Kiara’s main damage steroid is tied to her defensive option, and her other defensive option kind of wants to be popped the instant it comes back up. Having to manage the Skill Rank Up buffs on top of this doesn’t help. Basically, you need to grind your walnuts a little and think ahead to use her fully effectively.

While doing my best to ignore the non-gameplay aspects of Kiara that are...attractive, she’s still a pretty good class-neutral AOE servant. Her natural durability makes her solid as a rock in difficult content, and her debuff-oriented kit also lends itself better to CQ scenarios. But outside of that, she’s still a strong Arts farmer, packing some of the highest Wave 3 NP damage in the game, if held back a little by her sub-par earlier NP damage. If you’re looking for a shiny new universal farmer to pair with your Casturia, and you never had the fortune of getting Space Ishtar or Musashi Berserker, she makes a good pick. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Illyasviel von Einzbern (Archer)

Introduction

Now I could make tasteless loli jokes here, but instead I’m just going to talk about something more interesting. This alt makes Ilya the first alt of a ‘collab’ Servant in the truest term - you might count BB, Melt, and Kiara, but they were already kind of Servants, and both written by Nasu and in a Type-Moon installment. Prisma Ilya version Ilya, however, is neither of those things.

...so, Summer Shiki anyone?

Servant Data
Archer

4

4
Magic Resistance A

Increase your Debuff Resist by 20%.

Independent Action B

Increase your Critical Strength by 8%.

Infinite Magical Energy C

Increase NP Gauge by 3% each turn for yourself.

Overview

As almost seems to be tradition for Pseudo-servants, Ilya has a fairly specialized stat spread, but one hindered by a low base stat total. With the 3rd highest attack stat of any 4* Archer, she also possesses the 2nd lowest HP. This may not seem too out-of-place, but she’s also tied in HP with Kuro, and Tomoe’s abnormally low HP for her attack kind of skews the statistics.

Point being, she’s solid offensively, but frail.

Ilya’s passives don’t do much to compensate for that, but they’re not too bad, either. She has a high-ranking Magic Resistance for an Archer, on top of the standard Independent Action and her own sort of ‘Personal Passive’, Infinite Magical Energy. The former two are neat bonuses, but getting 3% free NP gauge per turn is really handy, needless to say. Normal Ilya kind of got it in exchange for mediocre regular NP gain, but maybe Summer Ilya will have it differently?

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So does Ilya’s Summer form meet the mark? First, we’ll have to dowse out her strong points:

This lady knows how to crit, man. With two critical damage boosts in her kit, on top of solid stargen and a Quick star focus effect that begs for Skadi to enable, Ilya is really gonna destroy anything she even taps with her Quick crits. But even putting that aside, her general crit damage is going to be both high and consistent due to Archer star weight. This is a pretty useful perk to have, since many Quick AOE loopers have the AOE damage down, but struggle to match it in single target damage. Ilya definitely won’t have that problem, though her AOE damage is more lacking.

As already stated, she can loop. Convenient and consistent farming is always a strong perk, though Ilya’s abilities stray from convenient or consistent more than I’d like, personally. If you don’t have LB Kaleidoscope, she may be difficult to build around. Regardless, being a worse entry in a fairly exclusive club to begin with isn’t bad. You gotta take what you get.

She has...some defensive options. While one-hit Invincible isn’t the epitome of consistency, especially when tied to one of your offensive tools, it at least has a chance of sticking around or being ready for enemy NP’s, and her inconsistent heal is a heal nonetheless, sustain can sometimes save you when things get dire. She has more than some loopers who tend to die when the enemy gets a turn in the first place…not naming anyone. *cough* Lancelot *cough*

However, she also has an issue to hose down:

Her AOE damage just isn’t that great. It may not matter for most farming, but it does generally harm her farming potential, as she typically doesn’t have good enough refund to handle Berserker nodes, and then due to her low damage output taking on class-neutral farming is out of her reach. Naturally, this also means she won’t be the best pick for CQ’s where being able to dish out huge damage on all three targets at once is important, as opposed to dishing out a small benchmark then focusing on the main boss.

Summer Ilya on the whole may be fairly good, but she doesn’t strike me as too exciting, probably because she has a lot of similarities to Sei Shonagon. Thankfully, her superior refund compared to Sei and much, much better single target crit damage means she’s largely a better servant, but at the same time, her kit doesn’t exactly bring anything new and exciting in a meaningful way. She’s just a Quick Archer that can loop and also has good CQ applications. Nothing wrong with that, and frankly, she’ll serve you well if you can get her to NP2 or NP3 to patch up her mediocre baseline NP damage. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Brynhild (Berserker)

Introduction

Frankly, I’m shocked that DW even had the balls to release a swimsuit alt of a Servant then go the complete opposite direction of most alts, making Bryn...very clearly more interested in Sigurd than she’d ever be for her Master. And who ever said Summer events are all just waifu pandering?

...unless this spawns a bunch of NTR doujins. Then this community is truly cursed.

Servant Data
Berserker

4

4
Max HP 10,023
HP Rank
Max ATK 10,197
ATK Rank
Base Atk1,699Base HP1,603
Max Atk 10,197 Max HP 10,023
Grail Atk 12,346 Grail HP 12,153
Madness Enhancement D-

Increase your Buster Card effectiveness by 3.5%.

Divinity E

Apply Damage Plus for yourself (Total Card Damage +100).

Overview

In terms of her base statistics, Bryn is on the offensive end for a Berserker, while sadly not inheriting the very high base stat total of her vanilla form. Possessing the tied 2nd worst HP of any SR Berserker in exchange for the 6th highest attack, it’s clear she’s not in the best possible position for base stats as a Berserker.

But hey, when your class already gimps you defensively, might as well go glass cannon. She’s at least going to hit hard.

Glancing over her passives, Summer Bryn sadly isn’t blessed with anything outstanding. Her Madness Enhancement is tiny compared to most Berserkers, and the 100 damage up from her Divinity is hardly enough to compensate. So frankly, she’s not starting from the best position to be a great offensive force.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So is Bryn our blushing bride or wedding day disaster? On one hand, the stars are lined up for her:

Strong defensive tools...for a Berserker. It’s funny how just having a 2 hit, 3 turn Evasion and damage cut skill can help negate your class’s crippling weaknesses. Unlike most of her class, Bryn isn’t liable to die from a stiff breeze, while also having a personal option for living NP turns.

For a Berserker of her card set, Bryn’s NP gain is really good. Midsummer Wisdom provides her with a lot of free gauge and opportunity to fit in an Arts crit, while her dual card booster also assists in her NP gain, stacked on a solid baseline NP gain. She doesn’t require too much external support to get a full gauge ready, which can open up her team composition and CE options compared to other Berserkers.

Universal Invincible Pierce AOE’s aren’t too common, or at least those with it tied to the NP itself. There’s OG Kiara, Amakusa (though pre-buff removal isn’t exactly the same thing, unremovable Invincible / Evasion is pretty common now)...and that’s it. Dantes may have Invincible Pierce on a skill, but having it tied to the NP itself tends to be more consistent in CQ scenarios.

However, she’s also set for tragedy:

Her damage just isn’t that great. Her NP will pretty much be hinging on the Berserker class advantage, and her regular card damage will only be using her abundance of Buster cards and a 30% card steroid to get by. Of course, this can be compensated by Buster supports, but you’d rather have a Servant who can do even more than Summer Bryn with a support holding her up.

Compared to the abundant looping AOE servants provided by Quick and Arts teams, Bryn just can’t really compete. Her kit isn’t built to abuse the best that Buster supports can offer, and where she does focus on (such as her NP gain and durability) is something that Merlin already can effectively cover for her, making it somewhat pointless. The same kit simply oriented for Arts or Quick would be far more effective, since Bryn’s own strengths play into those teams and cover for the shortcoming of Arts/Quick supports better.

Now then. With the emergence of Casturia I had to promise myself I wouldn’t start penalizing Buster servants just for not being focused on one of the meta card types, but Summer Bryn’s issues don’t really lie just there. She doesn’t play to the strong points of her card type - immense critical damage, raw card damage, and just general stability. When you get down to it, there’s not much reason to favour her over Chacha, who has similar NP damage from her NP5, the same stargen / NP gain perks, but doesn’t require a foray into the gacha to obtain. That said, I do think Summer Bryn is better than Chacha, but that’s not a particularly high bar. She’s just...out of fashion? I feel bad putting a lady down in her wedding dress, but it’s the facts.

Outro

Following my usual tradition for summer events, I intend to throw the work of the Welfare servant on future Rath as he tackles the second gacha. Lord save that poor fool, the sucker. But for those who may want to know whether to invest in Summer Yu during the event in the meantime, I’ll give a 1-sentence summary: She’s a solid ST Crit-focused Quick Lancer with some niche tools; nothing overwhelmingly great, but not to be passed over, either.

So with that said, if you all survive the completely safe nighttime in our cabin retreat, I’ll see you for the second edition of the MMM for this summer!

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