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MMM - Naval Ne'er-do-wells Nominates Near-Nude Infantry, Neglecting Nation's NNN (Illusory Scramble Gacha)

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MMM Imaginary Scramble
Table of Contents

The Modern Magus Magazine

How’s it hanging, y’all. Looks like we got our yearly pseudo-chapter event, and as is totally-not tradition, it comes with a double SSR gacha. 100% less easy to roll Servants, double the salt!

So put on pause for a moment both your spreadsheets and mega brain math to figure out how you can most efficiently clear each Battleship map right until you run into an immortal grey whale...thing, and instead join me in trying to figure out why Vincent Van Gogh is a girl.

NA Release Date:

Van Gogh

Introduction

Okay, so it’s actually not Vincent Van Gogh. Maybe. She’s got a case of having most of her profile event-locked, so it’s likely important to the story. Running theory is that she’s one of Van Gogh’s female relatives. Regardless, the resemblance is uncanny.

Oh, and the freaky-ass crazy Madoka Magica ascension arts? I love that shit. Shame I didn’t get her.

Servant Data
Foreigner

5

5
Entity of the Outer Realm A

Gain 2 Critical Stars per turn.
Increase your Debuff Resist by 10%.

Insanity C

Increase your Buster Card effectiveness by 6%.

Item Construction B-

Increase your Debuff Chance Rate by 7.5%.

Divinity B+

Apply Damage Plus for yourself (Total Card Damage +185).

Sunflower's Curse A

Curse cannot cause your HP to fall below 1.

Overview

Starting off with her base stats, Van Gogh-chan fills in a new kind of stat spread for the Foreigner class. Oh boy, it’s filling out now. I can actually begin to judge new Foreigners based on every Servant in the spectrum. At any rate, Van Gogh-chan fills the more bulky end of the spectrum, possessing more attack than Voyager, but sitting below everyone else offensively. She has a colossal 15k base HP stat for where she lacks in attack, and frankly, with her role, that’s a good thing for once. Since she’s a Foreigner support Foreigner, after all.

Wait what?

Forget that, passives. As is typical for her class, she has Entity of the Outer Realm, providing her with a small chunk of star generation, as well as extra debuff resistance. Then add in Insanity for a small boost to her sole Buster card...then Item Construction so her debuffs become more consistent...lord this is a lot of passives.

Divinity B+ is not suspicious for her character origins in the least, but it is a small boost to her card damage, as well as a plethora of new weaknesses. And finally, Sunflower’s Curse means that Van Gogh-chan can’t die to Curse. Not immune to Curse. Not a reduction in Curse damage. She just can’t die to the Curse damage tick. In most cases you’d consider this utterly useless, but it’s actually so her kit isn’t painfully annoying. More on this soon.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So, while she may be a feikaa, how is Van Gogh-chan as a Servant? On one hand, she’s a masterpiece:

This lady has some great on-demand support. She can provide a solid offensive buff for the team on a group of enemies, she has a strong targeted attack buff and star gather buff to ensure your crit damage dealer is getting all the stars, she has team evasion to block NP’s, provides a small but handy regen heal, and she...uh, can soak up Curse debuffs if we face a gimmick fight with that in the future? It’s there, I guess. That’s a lot of handy perks, and I’m not even throwing her NP in that list.

So now I’ll add the NP to that list. De Sterrennacht is a huge supportive boost for Van Gogh-chan herself and her teammates, protecting the team with Stun, giving a huge boost for critical damage dealers, and just a general offensive boost. Factoring in her own kit, Van Gogh-chan can even just use this as a selfish crit buff and be the main dps herself. It is really versatile and handy, even if you don’t have any other Servants who can benefit from the trait crit buff.

Despite showering herself in Curses, Van Gogh-chan is durable. Her Guts skill is really good, acting as an effective last resort should her team Evade not be enough to block fatal damage, and thanks to her immunity to death via Curse, she can’t bone herself by dying to Curse damage after the Guts revival turn. Add in her high base HP, and you won’t really have much issues with her dying unless you decide to soak in the Curses from a double Waver NP or something dumb. Funny, but dumb.

However, she also may fail to sell more than a couple paintings, then again herself as a Servant:

Being a Foreigner has its drawbacks. While acting as a support it isn’t as significant, Van Gogh-chan works as her own critical damage dealer, and she lacks a “true” class advantage to leverage over other competitors with. When facing off Berserkers, you’ll often find a different critical damage dealer with just enough support to keep them alive will be more effective. Add in her star weight (while somewhat mitigated by her targeted star focus) can steal stars from her chosen support target, she has some issues to work through.

Much like meta-based negatives, I really don’t want to put this here, but she is a “true” support...she has no team gauge chargers. The ancient saying is that gauge chargers are the be-all and end-all of FGO, and while she can handle herself in that regard, no supportive gauge chargers means she’ll have a rough time competing with Skadi or Merlin for critical damage support. Turn 1 NP’s, or just NP’s coming more frequently, are that important. Her support to the Entity-tag Servants may still largely surpass the aforementioned Servants in damage, but it’s still a hurdle.

So, overall, Van Gogh-chan is a weirdo. The yandere personality and freaky art should’ve told you that already, but it reflects in gameplay, too. The Foreigner (+Summer Okita and BB) Support Foreigner is hardly a niche I ever asked for or expected to discuss, but...she’s kind of good at it? She corners three of the most important aspects of being a good support - reliable defensive options, enabling of critical damage dealers, and powerful raw offensive buffs while also being capable as an isolated damage dealer, albeit with limited deployment options due to her class advantage. She may not be able to set up crazy farming comps or be appropriate for every quest, but if you happen to have one of her top supportive options (particularly Summer Okita or Voyager), then she can be a strong slot-in for one of your supports, provided you can live with the loss of targeted gauge chargers. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Nemo

Introduction

Another inevitable SSR NPC bites the dust...now I’d say we’re a few steps closer to Muramasa, but then Arcade had to go and confirm Proto-Merlin as an actual thing...damn. At any rate, raise your army of shotas and go to sea, we’re going Napoleon on this Imaginary...sea...thing. Woo?

Servant Data
Rider

5

5
Riding A+

Increase your Quick Card effectiveness by 11%.

Divinity A

Apply Damage Plus for yourself (Total Card Damage +200).

Protection of Poseidon B

Increase Arts Card Critical Strength by 10%.
Apply Damage Cut by 500 when field is [near water] or [Imaginary Space].

Overview

In terms of base stats, I have to say Nemo surprises me. I only learned relatively recently that all Servant base stats (including things like star generation and star weight to a degree) are slightly influenced by the Servant’s lore parameters. That being said, it normally makes sense that Riders and Assassins have pretty bad stats, since their lore parameters are typically lower, on top of being handed weaker modifiers to their HP and Attack compared to other classes.

Obviously, Servants like Odysseus, Achilles, Ivan, and Quetz tend to hit above their weight class due to their high parameters, but oddly Nemo is actually kind of strong for his HP-Attack ratio, too. Sitting comfortably with 4th highest HP, tied 5th lowest Attack, Nemo may sound typical for his position, but he actually gets more HP / Attack out of his gap compared to other Riders. His position is still the same, relative speaking, but having more HP than Reines despite tied Attack, and only slightly less Attack than Iskandar in exchange for a neat chunk of HP speaks for itself. Still a more defensive spread, but he gets a good deal out of it.

So far as Passives go, Nemo isn’t too abnormal. His sole Quick card gets a notable 11% boost from his Riding, and Divinity helps out his regular card damage. Nemo is noteworthy for being one of the few Knight classes in the game to NOT have Magic Resistance, which is frankly a bit of a downer. Don’t expect him to randomly shrug off debuffs, at the least.

Last on the passive lineup is Protection of Posiedon, boosting his Arts crit damage by a decent sum, and also providing a very significant passive 500 damage cut when fighting on Water or Imaginary Space battlefields. Very strong in keeping him safe from regular card damage when it applies, but uh, when does it really apply?

Summer events, LB5.1, this event...it’s hard to really say how applicable it is when you could get super-difficult Challenge Quests set by a pond, or an entire Lost Belt in a wet location because you know Nasu isn’t predictable. But well, more on battlefield traits later.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how good is Nemo in practice? On one hand, he’s an unseen destroyer:

Nemo is pretty functional as a straightforward Arts ST in the present meta. He gets enough out of his Arts cards / NP in terms of both damage and refund to demolish Caster and Berserker bosses, has a defensive option to prevent being completely stonewalled by enemy NPs (though Casturia should already have that covered), and he has a neat handful of niches that will give him an elevated position over competitors in the right circumstances.

While it may sound like an abnormal niche, Nemo being an Arts ST who also provides team buff is actually quite handy. More recently DW has leaned toward abnormal faming node compositions (primarily 3/1/1 in terms of number of enemies in each wave), which promotes running 2 dps, 1 support, then battlesuit swapping the AOE dps out for a second support after the first wave. If Nemo acts as your single-target, then he can boost the AOE’s damage with his Arts buff without losing anything. This even works with his aforementioned synergy with Lambda, allowing Nemo to place down his Water terrain-boosted buffs on himself and Lambda for the first turn, then swapping her out for a second Casturia as he handles the single targets.

For when it becomes relevant, such as during this event or Water-oriented Lost Belts, Nemo has a notably strong performance. His damage begins hitting best-in-class kind of levels, he becomes more effective in a support position, and his NP no longer gets stonewalled by Evasion.

However, he’s also sunk to the murky depths:

When Nemo doesn’t have the right terrain to support him, that is, most of the time, he faces stiff competition. Servants like Ryoma, Summer Murasaki, and Mandricardo compete with him in the same class and niche, providing comparable damage numbers, better utility, or simply overwhelmingly better refund and/or damage output. That isn’t to say he’s not more than usable as he is, but if you have access to his competitors, his value is greatly reduced.

Even if Nemo does have support utility worth mentioning, it’s only truly perhaps optimal with Lambda in specific farming maps, as he’s outclassed by competing Arts supports (who aren’t Casturia, of course) like Tamamo, Nero Bride, Paracelsus, and Lanling. It’s something who can do it, but there’s a lot who can do better without the unnecessary submarine frills.

Nemo on the whole has the unfortunate curse of being born a specialist within a Servant archetype that has a lot of good generalists vying for it. Ryoma and Mandricardo both outclass him out of the water, and are very accessible in general. And while Nemo does have a great performance with his battlefield terrain in play, the actual practicality of getting it when you want it is poor, and it leaves the feeling that Nemo has been build as a Servant with two selves - Nemo during Imaginary Scramble and its rerun, and Nemo outside of it. Guess which one you get most of the time when you invest your quartz in him. But hey, he does his job if you both missed Ryoma’s event, and somehow just never got Mandricardo from rolls. Power to you, those people.

Outro

With that out of the way, we just have to keep on sweeping the imaginary...numeric ocean floor for...fish. And sharks. And whales. Well, we already have plenty of whales in FGO, but a few more couldn’t hurt, right?

I feel the need to put this somewhere, but shockingly I can’t write a 5000 word article in a single day, so I wrote Van Gogh-chan’s article before knowing her identity. Though I know it’s in good spirit, I know who she is already, so I don’t need helpful comments on reddit telling me the spoiler I deliberately avoid for those who want to enjoy the event.

But putting that aside, Kanou-san confirmed on this event’s stream that there will be a new story chapter before the end of the year. I’ll likely be MMM’ing with you all when that time comes, but until then...keeping doing your best in NNN. After all, it’s only a single Caesar Cipher shift from my own work here.

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