The Modern Magus Magazine
They say there’s no such thing as too much booty. And by “they”, I mean Teach told me that. It was ambiguous if he meant treasure or the female posterior, but I agree nonetheless...until I’m writing for 7 separate new Servants in a 2 week period.
Your boy Rath’s got a life, and I suppose he’s committed to dedicating some part of it to assessing the quality of said booty. And I’ll give my verdict now:
Those ascension mats are pretty great.
Leonardo Da Vinci (Ruler)
Curse you, past Rath! Your laziness has forced me to write for a Servant I could’ve done days ago. Truly he is my greatest enemy.
In other news, Da Vinci is being pursued in the Storm Border by Nintendo’s lawyers (yeah, they can even survive the Lost Belts) over copyright infringement. No idea why.
|Base Atk||1,526||Base HP||1,881|
|Max Atk||9,157||Max HP||11,756|
|Grail Atk||11,087||Grail HP||14,254|
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As only the 4th SR Ruler in the game, the selection to compare her statline to is sufficient to get an idea, but not as broad as one would expect after 6 years of this game. To avoid going on a tangent, I’ll get to the point.
Da Vinci Ruler has poor stats in relativity to her class and rarity. While her Attack and HP are by no means bad overall due to the Ruler class’s 1.1x Attack modifier and superb class resistances, she’s still pretty below the curve, with the worst Attack of the 4* Rulers available, and barely any HP in return to compensate. Astraea’s statline clearly shows what’s possible for Rulers, and Da Vinci hits well below it.
On the plus side, Da Vinci has a decent selection of Passives to work with. Her EX Riding provides a moderate boost to her sole Quick card, Item Construction A is a useful consistency boost for the debuffs in her kit, and her Magic Resistance, while poor for a Ruler, is still a useful passive boost to shrug off debuffs when it matters.
But on the whole, not much outstanding from her in this department.
So, how is Da Vinci on the whole? On one hand, she’s got all the moves, she’s just my type and she’s all but ready to evolve:
However, she’s also got some fatal weaknesses that’ll make her white out:
Da Vinci Lily, oddly enough, is the first welfare in a long time I could actually confidently call a support. Even with a damaging NP. While she can play herself like a mediocre Buster ST Servant, ultimately that’s a backup option for whenever you absolutely need Ruler offense or she ends up being cycled back onto the frontline after swapping her out.
Taking her buffs at face value for farming or efficient CQ purposes, Da Vinci Ruler is not bad at all. Depending on the overcharge bonus of the offensive Servant she’s aiding, she can provide some incredibly competitive offensive boosts to her support target, while being at the disposal of any player who just completes the Summer Event story - no NP5 needed.
With that in mind, she isn’t particularly game changing for people who already have Nero Bride in their possession, possibly except costing less to deploy, but hey, presumably those with Bride are a minority. All in all, she’s deserving of the Rath™ Seal of Approval.
For a character whose abilities as a Servant enables some of the scariest mind fuckery around in the series that would make Paradox Spiral look like a walk in the park, Kama sure is set up to be bullied.
Poor girl can’t even get a single confident line in in the shop without something undermining it. Her level of smugness even increases with each ascension form, setting up for an even more dramatic bulli.
Well, let’s hope she doesn’t deserve it, gameplay-wise.
|Base Atk||2,042||Base HP||1,729|
|Max Atk||13,213||Max HP||11,790|
|Grail Atk||14,464||Grail HP||12,916|
Increase NP Gain when damaged by 18%.
Decrease Debuff Resist for all allies (including sub-members),
except yourself by 8%. [Demerit]
Increase your Critical Strength by 2%
Increase your Mental Debuff Resist by 2%.
Increase your Death Resist by 2%.
As an SSR Avenger, it goes without saying Kama will have a very high Attack stat, but even then she blows those expectations out the water. With an attack stat only a few dozen points under Jalter’s, Kama Avenger has the 2nd highest Attack stat in the game, with a pretty abysmal HP stat which matches, only a few dozen higher than Jalter in return.
Needless to say, with the Avenger 1.1x Attack modifier in play, Kama will hit incredibly hard as a baseline.
But with her passives in play, she only gets better. The sacred trio of Avenger class skills is naturally on her lineup, providing a +18% boost to her defensive NP gain, +8% Critical Damage Up, and 3.8% NP gauge every turn. These boosts alone are excellent, even if typical of her class.
Yet on top of that, Kama has another FOUR passives, which I believe makes her the record holder of most passives in the game (discounting those with no gameplay effects). Let’s run through them:
Independent Manifestation E is expectedly not particularly big, but it is a neat +2% to the critical damage boost from Oblivion Correction. A-rank Magic Resistance provides a fairly good passive resistance to debuffs, something to always be appreciated. Riding A is the first significant passive, handing Kama a +10% boost to her secondary card type. And last but not least, Core of the Demon King provides Kama with a Divinity-style damage up buff on her cards, as well as her iconic immunity to Charm.
As you might expect, both her bases and incredibly passive lineup make Kama one of the most robust Servants in the game just from what’s on the tin.
So, how is Kama Avenger on the whole? On one hand, she’s burning with the flames of love and refuses to smoulder:
But on the flipside, the brighter she burns, the quicker she turns to cinders:
I feel like my bullet points have gotten much more compact of late. I’m not sure whether to call it laziness or recognition that I don’t need to point out basic defensive options as a plus every single Servant, but all I’ll say is the number of points don’t matter, it’s what’s in each.
Case in point, even second-best Arts universal farmer is still a very good title to have, and Kama Avenger provides pretty much everything you can look for in someone of her speciality, plus extra fun gimmicks like building up a bunch of Flame of Love buffs on a boss and obliterating them with crits.
To be frank, there’s not much more to say, as Kama Avenger is surprisingly...basic for a Summer SSR. In previous years I’ve had to analyze how kits come together pretty directly (Kiara), or how they don’t (Abbie), but Kama really just brought the sheer meat of how to be an Arts farmer to the table. And that’s more than enough to be worthwhile. Rath™ Seal of Approval with a recommendation.
I’ll admit it here and now, I’m not a huge Caenis fan. But I can appreciate those floppy ears of hers. And that aside, it’s only thanks to Goredolf that she’s here in a swimsuit form, so fans of her should be pouring out drinks to the Director.
|Base Atk||1,584||Base HP||1,736|
|Max Atk||9,506||Max HP||10,854|
|Grail Atk||11,510||Grail HP||13,160|
Man, all those years later and Kintoki Rider is still kinda insurmountable for SR Riders…
Caenis Rider’s base statline is strongly offensively-oriented, With the 4th-highest Attack stat of her rarity in exchange for the 4th-worst HP stat. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. While that doesn’t put her in an exceptional position at all, she’s still got the attack points where it matters for an offensive Servant, so she’s starting from a good point.
Caenis doesn’t slack in the passive front, either. While she only has 2 passives, both are quite strong - EX Riding is something of a necessity when she’s riding a dragon subspecies (and they say FGO doesn’t respect the original lore...pfft), but also provides her with a sizeable +12% boost to her Quick card, while Posiedon’s Essence B provides the same benefits as it does for her vanilla form, granting a relatively big Damage Up boost and 8% Arts Up, a desirable bonus for her NP gain.
So while she’s not boasting anything over-the-top, Caenis Rider is certainly pulling a solid baseline around for her to work with.
So how is Caenis’s summer form in general? On one hand, she’s catching some rad waves:
However, she’s also bound to get wiped out:
Taking all factors into consideration, Caenis Rider would be a difficult Servant to justify using...if not for the presence of the new-age Buster support.
In a conventional sense, Caenis Rider is just a Buster NP and a bunch of crit buffs on wheels, something you pull out in a class-advantage CQ if you’re feeling spicy then otherwise just let her build bond points in the backrow for her lifespan. However, with her relatively unique potential to abuse the ramping damage of her NP with Oberon, she boasts some of the scariest damage output in both NP and Crit in the game, for an SR Servant at the very least.
While that does mean the strength of her kit is dependent on the presence of Merlin, Koyanskaya, and most of all Oberon in one’s collection, that hasn’t exactly stopped us from rating otherwise-mediocre Arts and Quick Servants highly because their tribal support makes them cracked, now has it? And most of all, spamming a Buster NP a bunch of times in a row on a CQ boss to then demolish them with a super-amped crit damage turn is just...fun. And we all know something’s wrong when you’re having fun in a gacha game. Rath™ Seal of Approval.
Sei Shonagon (Berserker)
One word. Two syllables. Say it and I’m all yours.
What word, you ask? Why, it’s obvious - DO-JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN
But in all seriousness Sei Shonagon is one of those Servants I like a lot despite her original form not being too great gameplay-wise. Maybe it’s the Gyaru-like aspect to her, maybe it’s the fact she’s friggen insane (even without Madness Enhancement), or maybe it’s Ai Farouz working her magic. In any case, let’s see if her Berserker form can match my expectations.
|Base Atk||1,657||Base HP||1,587|
|Max Atk||9,942||Max HP||9,922|
|Grail Atk||12,038||Grail HP||12,030|
As you should probably expect from an author Servant turned into a non-Caster class, Sei Zerker doesn’t really have the best statline out there. Clocking in with the 7th worst Attack of her class and rarity as well as the tied worst HP, she’s actually one of the rare few Servants to have so poor a statline I have to list both her stats counting from worst instead of best.
At any rate, it’s not all that bad- her poor HP means little when all Berserkers are made of paper, and at the very least she ensured her Attack stat didn’t tank too hard, so she’ll still benefit from the raw offense of her class. Could certainly be better, though.
On the flipside, Sei Zerker gets some interesting perks out of her passives. As logic might indicate,you have to be slightly insane to throw out so many pet names on the fly, so she gets a neat little 4% Buster boost from Madness Enhancement. Independent Action (Selfishness) D, however, is a bit of a telling variant passive that enhances the Star Weight of her Quick cards by 4%...of 10.
You don’t need to be a math genius to know that 4% of 10 doesn’t even round to a whole number, so this passive actually does literally nothing. Nice.
Lastly, Dharma of the One Path is thankfully a useful passive, boosting her Charm Resistance to the point that she’s essentially immune, though it can technically be overcome with Debuff application rate / resistance effects.
On the whole, Sei Zerker has a bit of a shaky baseline, but nothing that will severely impact her viability.
So how is Sei’s Berserker form on the whole? On one hand, she’s dope, based, and dare I say it, superlit:
However, she’s also a millenia-old hag pretending to be some 17 year-old boomer and (for this event at least) riding on a pirate ship:
Well, I suppose this is karma for getting my hopes up. While Sei’s Berserker form really does try her hardest to provide something competent, the power of her kit is more or less undertuned compared to what she has to compete with, and even then older Berserkers in the same niche such as Atalante Alter still offer some tough competition to overcome.
Seeing those big damage numbers pop up will still be fun to watch, I’m sure, but big numbers doesn’t necessarily mean better Servant, and the way the game is means good damage that you can output consistently is better than great damage you can do once. Hey, it’s why I’ve used Dioscuri ten times more than I’ve used Musashi over the past year.
Stick to writing ye olde Japanese top 10 lists, girl.
It’s over, it’s...done.
Another year, another summer, and surprisingly not much mind-melding complexity to the Servants in this year’s event. Maybe they wanted to cut us a break after all the intriguing LB6 Servants? In any case, I’ll appreciate what should be a pretty long gap between now and the next Servant introduction.
Until then, do your best to plunder some booty. Got to make Blackbeard proud of you, one way or another. I’ll leave how to do it to your own interpretation. Later.