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MMM - Crushed Cuddly Cub Curbs Criticism, Crunches Core, Converts in Chiselled Chad (Lostbelt 5 Gacha Part 1)

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Article by Rathilal
MMM Lostbelt 5
Table of Contents

The Modern Magus Magazine

Are you ready for the hottest servant addition of the year to bust into the new Lostbelt?

What, Europa? Get that blonde bull-breeding bimbo out of my way! I’m referring to the Grecian Pillar Man, with the self-proclaimed adorable round face and equally self-proclaimed babe magnet.

Orion may have no success with the ladies, but boy, this man is infatuated with him.

Oh yeah, and there’s also that Ricardo guy except he isn’t a sexy muscular hulk. DW really needs to share the testosterone around more.

Keeping things on track, welcome one and all to the MMM, where I think about the new servants in gameplay so you don’t have to! If the previous few lines haven’t convinced you, I’m perfectly unbiased in my assessments, so rest assured - we’ll be only talking facts and logic in this issue.

Lostbelt 5 Summon Banner
NA Release Date: 12/2021

Superhuman Orion

For once in a banner, we’re starting off strong, and I mean it both in terms of musculature and character quality. I’ll just dumb my rant about how much I like Orion as a character here, since I have to actually write quality content after.

Orion (Original) was one of my first few SSRs, was my first NP2 SSR, and to this day has been a constant in my teams for challenging difficult content, on top of being a character filled with charm, creativity, comedy, and great art. Much in the same way, Superhuman Orion (who I will refer to as Orion from now on) continues being a charming character, except now we get to experience the man behind the bravado that a teddy bear once showed.

And man, is he a beast in lore. One of the strongest statlines of any servant, then again an Archer, a collection of cool and interesting skills, and he’s even [REDACTED].

So with my fanboying out the way, let’s tackle his gameplay.

Archer
Independent Action EX

Increase your Critical Strength by 12%.

Sea God's Blessing B

Apply Damage Plus for yourself (Total Card Damage +175).
Apply Damage Cut for yourself (Total Damage Reduction +175).

Scorpius's Curse D

Increases Poison damage to self by 20% (Demerit)

There’s very few times I can pull out this phrase and be uncontroversial about it in FGO, primarily because it’s a pretty balanced game that doesn’t bind itself to comparing statistics, building teams, and competitive content to keep a cycle going:

Orion’s base stats are sheer power creep. Not only does he have the highest attack stat of any Archer in the game as of present, overtaking Arjuna by a decent margin, he also crushes a good portion of the SSR Archer lineup in HP, having...a surprisingly decent HP stat for how good his offense is.

Orion keeps the ball rolling for his passives, too. EX Independent Action is literally as good as it gets, and he also gets a powercreep form of Divinity, giving him both 175 damage up and 175 damage cut, the latter of which being far more powerful. 175 less damage taken per card is pretty crazy for a defensive passive, especially as it gets exponentially more powerful the more defensive buffs you have stacked. Won’t save him from NP’s or massive damage, though.

He also has a passive 20% amp to any poison damage he takes, which is basically just flavour. Call me back when we get a challenge quest with unavoidable poison damage all over the place. Oh, and he doesn’t have any magic resistance. I guess that’s a sizeable drawback, but he’s already got some abnormal advantages to compensate.

So how is our gargantuan teddy bear? On one hand, he is, quite literally, the Übermensch:

Bar none, the best critical servant in the game. With a 3 Buster card deck, a very high attack stat, huge buffs to all four of the most common damage buffs (Atk up, Card boost, Crit dmg up, and Effective damage), he absolutely pounds the opposition to a pulp, and does so with consistency, thanks to the star generation built into his kit and his 3-turn star focus layered atop Archer star weight.

He’s defensively no slouch, either. His passive 175 damage cut goes a long way to keeping his HP high, and on top of his nigh-permanent debuff immunity from his NP and Guts, Orion can at the very least survive one doomsday scenario little worse for wear. In the context of being supported by the defensive tools of his preferred supports (Waver and Merlin), he’s more durable than many other Buster critical-oriented servants, like Sigurd or Jalter.

The bear also packs pretty useful utility. While I already mentioned it, Orion’s debuff immunity effect doubles as both a defensive aid for preventing effects like burn, poison, curse, or defense down, but also allows him to bypass debuff gimmicks in challenging quests, and a variety of effects that are simply annoying, like skill / NP Seal and stun / charm. Also he has Invincible Pierce more or less on-demand, which is pretty vital to be consistent as a crit damage dealer.

However, I need to find something to nitpick about his kit, so here we go:

His NP gain, while still excellent, is limited by his card set. Only getting a singular Arts card every 3 turns can make his NP’s more intermittent than one may like, but with all his crit focus, that Arts card is pretty much assured to crit, giving him roughly half his gauge back in most scenarios. This ends up being less of a weakness and more of a setback his preferred supports already cover for him.

Not having an offensive NP is...sometimes a bad thing. The advantage of offensive NP’s people often overlook is it’s a guaranteed card on the given hand to deal damage with, so even with a poor hand you can inflict some pain to your foes. Orion, meanwhile, is pretty much only ever going to deal damage with the five cards he gets over a 3 turn period, unless you cheat and use Summer BB, like me.

So how is he in the grand scheme of things? Still busted to hell and back, of course. We’re talking about a man who, despite being in a far weaker class for his attack stat, does over triple the damage Jalter does with a 3rd card Buster crit with an ideal chain (BBB versus BAB, both with lvl100 Victor of the Moon and 1k atk fou, 191k crit versus 57k crit), and that’s BEFORE factoring supports or class advantage. He can bypass countless boss gimmicks, he’s fairly durable, he requires zero support to get his crit machine rolling, his NP gain is pretty good even with no external help, and he’s an absolute unit. 

If I haven’t sold him to you yet, I don’t know what else I can say. Rath™ Seal of Approval, with a recommendation.

Mandricardo

I know you’re conscious over being an absurdly obscure heroic spirit in this Lostbelt filled with absolute monsters of servants, so uh, don’t die, Ishigami Mandricardo. 

That said, I find it funny this Lostbelt features two people with weapons based on Durandal, but Roland still remains out of sight…

Rider
Magic Resistance C

Increase your Debuff Resist by 15%.

Riding B

Increase your Quick Card effectiveness by 8%.

As an addition to the Silver Rider lineup, Mandricardo doesn’t have too many competitors, but ends up being exceedingly average on base stats, anyways. With the same HP as Columbus and a moderate sum more atk, he’s got a fairly well-balanced base stat total, sitting at neither the side of glass cannon or wet noodle. 

For Passives, plain is also the name of the game. With very average C Magic Resistance and B Riding, Mandricardo benefits from some lesser boosts to his debuff resistance and Quick cards, but generally has nothing to write home about. Let’s move on.

So how is our forgettable fella with the stick for a sword? On one hand, he strikes like Occam’s Razor, simple and to the point:

Dude has some great NP spam. His Rider class and solid base NP gain means we won’t struggle to get stars for building gauge, but with a proper Arts support team, he doesn’t even need it, getting full gauge refund with very average brave chains. Honestly, it reminds me a lot of Ryouma, but as a 3* servant - few gimmicks, but effective as what he does. Compared to Ryouma, however, his NP refund is far better, so he’s still a worthwhile alternative for welfare options.

Even with spam out the picture, Mandricardo has some great NP damage. His buffs built into his kit (Arts and Atk) tend to meld well with the primary CE and offensive support options for his specialty, meaning he pulls out good damage numbers as highlighted earlier. For budget Arts-focused offense, you can’t get much better.

While minor, Mandricardo does bring some...interesting utility. Theoretically you can use The Instant Before the Strike to get a free ‘battlesuit’ via his untimely demise, as well as a free defensive buff removal, while having a taunt is just...generally handy. It’s not game-breaking on its own, but supports like Reines can turn a 1-turn taunt into a team survival versus single-target NP’s with little hassle, so it can have its highlights. Or you can just use it with the Atlas Academy Mystic Code. That probably works better.

On the other hand, he’s a second-rate servant with a third-rate sword:

In spite of his incredible NP spam, Mandricardo lacks the tools to get that gauge ready in a reasonable time frame. Running Kaledioscope on him can hurt his potential damage output a fair bit, and even with a 50% gauge CE he would have to run alongside Nero Bride and either Ascelpius or the Clocktower Uniform to get a turn 1 NP. For challenge quests and general difficult content it may be fine to simply build up his gauge normally, but it does harm his flexibility.

In spite of the def buff and taunt, Mandricardo lacks a hard defensive option, meaning he’s reliant on the (annoyingly lacking) hard defensive options of his teammates in an Arts composition.

Lastly, since I think it needs re-stating, his second skill is more or less a deadweight. I’ll be keeping a count of how many times I’ve been able to, or even then wanted to use it. Currently, the tally is zero.

All in all, Madricardo is a good example of how basic is sometimes best. He has no flashy gimmicks, interesting dynamics or swiss army knife kits, he just boosts his stats in some areas then smacks the enemy to kingdom come. And hey, it works. He hits hard, is fairly well-rounded, has an effective and useful position in Arts comps and can accomplish all that without really investing too much quartz in the gacha. You did good, bucko. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Europa

So, how about those women who get involved in Zeus’s philandery and still somehow like him for it, even when he’s stuck in the form of an Ox? Yikes. Yikes a hundred times over.

Sometimes you have to wonder if the Greek Gods are completely fucked up on their track record of love. Artemis, Zeus, Poseidon and now Europa aren’t setting a good example.

Rider
Max HP 12,571
HP Rank
Max ATK 11,736
ATK Rank
Base Atk1,813Base HP1,843
Max Atk 11,736 Max HP 12,571
Grail Atk 12,848 Grail HP 13,772
Magic Resistance C

Increase your Debuff Resist by 15%.

Riding A+

Increase your Quick Card effectiveness by 11%.

Divinity C

Apply Damage Plus for yourself (Total Card Damage +150).

Europa doesn’t get to a great start with her base stats, packing the worst HP stat of any 5* Rider, and 9th worst of any 5*, period, Europa doesn’t even manage to compensate for it much, coming 4th place for attack in comparison to her fellow Riders. Simply put, her base stat total is pretty awful, but at least she compensates for it by being focused on attack, rather than being Medb and sucking on both fronts.

Normally, when presented with a servant with low bases and some level of Divinity you expect a broken set of passives to reimburse you for your disappointment - not today! Europa packs a very typical set of Passives, with the only real “stand-out” being her C Divinity. While her Riding is of a good rank, she only has a singular Quick card to make use of it with, which doesn’t really help her case.

Plain, Boring, Boring, Plain, and most importantly, boring! I need to get through the points for the sake of my format, but jeez, does this lady drain all my enthusiasm writing about her:

Europa is pretty durable. Princess of Purity is arguably the best selfish defensive skill in the game, and for good reason. It’s not tacked with a long cooldown, it’s hard to break past, it can be popped then forgotten about, and even shrugs off debuffs for you. This skill alone makes her insanely durable, then again the Charm and Crit rate down she packs, or her NP’s defense buff.

She has a reasonably good setup for basic AOE farming. 30% gauge charger is what you need to just swap into a Merlin or Waver setup and get 100% gauge with a 50% gauge CE, and her damage is more than passable for most farming comps. Not more to say about that, though.

AOE Charm, def down, and critical rate down is a pretty good team support skill. That’s all the point is. I might as well throw it in since I’d rave about how good Shuten’s charm is if you asked me, and this is a powercreep version of it.

And the downside is this:

Europa is plainer than a tortilla wrap. While she has good skills, they simply amount to something existing servants do better. If you want farming, she’s outdone in every reasonable aspect by NP2 Astolfo. If you want raw damage, you can always use any of the AOE Rider welfares, since they’ll crush her any day of the week. She has no appeal in regular card damage, support, or any special property of her NP. If you already have an AOE 5* Rider, you’re probably better off using them.

So yes, I’m not a fan in the least. There’s nothing in this world to make me more apathetic toward a servant than a kit which lacks any ingenuity, unique mechanics, or powerful niches. Like being a release servant when we’re not too far from servant #300. She’s fine to go for if her design or character really is what you like, but she’s a good contender for “worst servant of 2019” in my book. On what may be the penultimate banner of the year. Good job, DW.

Final Conclusion

That’s one half of the mess that LB5 has turned out to be, eh? Thankfully, unlike in previous story chapters, the chapter itself is also segmented into two parts, like my MMM. Which means no stressing over having to write the story locks’ MMM’s super fast, either. Hallelujah. With that said, sounds like Odysseus-Zeus, Caenis and probably Castor and Pollux will be in the second banner? Only time will tell, especially since the second banner will probably drop on Christmas day...talk about timing. 

Until then, my dear readers!

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