The Modern Magus Magazine
This is certainly a change of pace. With Halloween events more or less having run their course (or Nasu ran out of outfit ideas to throw Liz in, more likely), we’re getting a different kind of event this year. And boy am I happy for it.
While Grail Fronts aren’t exactly the pinnacle of engaging and complex strategy gameplay, they at least add an additional axis of gameplay that FGO is otherwise lacking, and the battle format allows for Servants who might not shine in regular gameplay to become kind of busted. In other words, I’m saying it flips the game on its head and the ST solo god Servants are the kings while the NP spammer AOE farmers are niche. And boy, is that weird.
But all new events with story in tow usually come with new Servants, and this one’s no different.
Let me tell you, Ptolemy is absolutely the John Smith of the Greco-Roman historical world. There are like 20 different people of note called this name, many of whom were alive in the same time period, and when you name a Servant Ptolemy there’s at least like 5 of them that would be an interesting Servant.
Then again, the fact FGO is calling him Ptolemaeus, which doesn’t help narrow it down at all. So we’ll just call him “Ptolemy, who was one of Iskandar’s generals”. Surely that distinguishes him enough, no?
…What do you mean, there are three Ptolemy’s in Iskandar’s army? At least give me nicknames to distinguish them, sheesh.
It helps that he’s the most famous of Iskandar’s Ptolemys, the one who went on to found the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt, and was instrumental of the foundation of the Library of Alexandria, which in Nasuverse lore is very closely tied to the Atlas Institute’s history. Which is fundamentally pretty cool.
|Base Atk||1,857||Base HP||2,048|
|Max Atk||12,016||Max HP||13,965|
|Grail Atk||13,153||Grail HP||15,299|
DO NOT DELETE OR EDIT! This contains formatting CSS.
As I examined when assessing Durga a short while back, the SSR Archer pool is filled with some pretty highly-statted behemoths to compete with, and the situation has hardly changed for Ptolemy’s introduction. With the 6th worst Attack stat in his class and rarity bracket, he compensates with the 5th highest HP stat. With the Archer class’s 0.95 attack multiplier factored in, this plants his attack stat in the very average 11500 region, but he has a well-above average HP stat to compensate.
Not really the worst place to be for your baseline, but as always offenses tend to rule over durability, and Ptolemy’s small advantage in bulk is unlikely to matter in most places you deploy him.
Ptolemy does have a sizable lineup of passives to compensate, though. His threefold combo of Independent Action, Magic Resistance, and Territory Creation mean he’s durable against debuffs, and packs a pretty nasty sting on his crits, especially for his Arts cards, which get a very respectable boost to their damage and NP gauge generation passively.
His 4th passive, Spirit Origin Data Preservation, is a unique one based around his dual nature of a Servant, and how he uses Memory Partition (a staple magecraft of Atlas Institute, long-term Nasuverse fans may know it’s one of the Magecraft schools Sion is an expert in) to divide his Spirit Origin. In gameplay terms, this gives him a respectable passive Buff Removal Resistance. This won’t really come up often, but the few times difficult content tosses gauge break buff removals at you, Ptolemy’s small chance to just say “no” to it will certainly make you pop off.
So how is Ptolemy on the whole? Well, on the one hand, he’s spry and wise, brave and experienced, and a peerless soldier and king both:
However, he’s also brash and cranky, foolish and close-minded, general to a fallen king and dynasty both:
Boy, in retrospect I feel like I was perhaps a little bit too kind to Durga, now that there’s another Archer occupying her space with a far better refund profile and better damage output versus the majority of enemies. It’s not like I could predict there’d be another, stronger Arts farming Archer right around the corner, though. Atlas probably could, the damn “all according to my calculations” bastards.
So case in point, for his older, farming form alone Ptolemy is a superb Servant, but the fact he runs double duty and can also function as a ST Damage dealer, even in the very same quest, is kind of absurd. Especially since he can go from AOE to ST, which typically tends to be more useful than the one-way transition Melusine has, and I considered that some pretty handy utility. Sure, it doesn’t come with an absurd +100% gauge charger and some of the craziest damage output in the game, but most of the time Melusine levels of damage is excessive.
In terms of bang-for-your-buck, Ptolemy is probably the best Archer in the game, but even with access to a Servant who outperforms him as a ST Archer, his farming capability is certainly the best in his class, and some of the best in the game. Rath™ Seal of Approval, with a recommendation.
While Fate does tend to give their love to failed assassins from time to time, Sugitani has to be one of them with both the funniest failing and most gruesome end.
I can get wanting to assassinate Oda Nobunaga, but doing so because apparently you want to demonstrate your gunsmithing skill is certainly a motivation, doubly so because killing Nobu with a gun would be supreme irony. So Sugitani supposedly took 2 shots at Nobunaga and only managed to graze them, then went on the run.
As someone with a casual interest in firearms, let me tell you two facts. Matchlock rifles, Sugitani’s weapon of choice, are effective to ranges of up to 100m, and are near-100% accurate from around 30m or closer. Sugitani reportedly fired at Nobu from 20m away. Twice.
So either Sugitani’s gunsmithing skills were actually shoddy, or her marksmanship was awful, or possibly both. What a way to go down in history. That’s our heroic spirit!
|Base Atk||1,364||Base HP||1,742|
|Max Atk||7,647||Max HP||9,682|
|Grail Atk||9,943||Grail HP||13,127|
As an addition to the pretty large pool of R Archers in the game, Sugitani has a good amount of competition. Thankfully, many of the silver Archers in the game are poorly statted, so Sugitani rolls up with the 4th best Attack of the bunch, paired with the 3rd best HP. It says a lot when you’re somehow considered to have “strong” parameters for your class/rarity bracket when your statline is a bunch of C’s and D’s, with an EX in Endurance.
…I imagine that has to do with the whole “buried in the ground having your neck slowly sawn off by a bamboo saw” deal. I don’t think even Cu would be able to take that.
Well in any case, she has a decent attack stat paired with above-average durability, so she’s well off on that front. For passives, she has nothing out of the ordinary for an Archer, with mediocre Magic Resistance and EX-ranked Independent Action, providing some defense versus debuffs and a very good passive boost to crit damage.
So how does Sugitani shape up? On the one hand, she has all her preparations made, and she’s in position, ready to fire:
However, she did ultimately miss her damn shot. Twice. How the heck do you do that?
It’s been a fair while since we last had a 3* Servant inclusion, and honestly despite her flaws Sugitani isn’t half bad. She boasts better critical damage output than many higher-rarity Servants (the Critical Damage buffs she gets from her kit have more value than Sigurd’s, which is just very sad), and also packs a good chunk of utility that helps keep her alive for her high-power NP to strike home.
Sure, someone like Bedivere could hit harder and better use the tools Buster supports have available in a very brief time-frame, but it doesn’t mean Sugitani isn’t significantly better than many of the stinkers lurking about the lower-rarity Servant pools. She actually has skills which apply more than 1 buff each, for one thing. And her NP actually has useful effects.
So while she’s not a must-have damage-spewing machine, or a soloing god, or a new cost-effective farmer, she’s a strong Buster crit-focused damage dealer that can carry many a Master down on their luck should they have need of her specialty. Rath™ Seal of Approval.
You know, wouldn’t it be crazy if your event featured a new 3* Servant ON TOP OF the other one in it, but you don’t put it in the initial gacha, and in the other one with the less-desirable SSR instead, but actually don’t insert him into the game until the end of the story, just to solely torment the writer of this article? That would be crazy, right? It’d make him rewrite the entire outro anticipating a second gacha with a Pretender SSR in it.
Surely Lasengle wouldn’t do that, right?
|Base Atk||1,319||Base HP||1,854|
|Max Atk||7,105||Max HP||10,302|
|Grail Atk||9,616||Grail HP||13,968|
As an addition to one of the few number of 3* Sabers in the game, Theseus doesn’t have a large amount of competition, but what is there does set fairly high expectations for him, with Caesar and Bedevire being some of the better 3*’s in the game.
With the second-lowest Attack stat in the tier, Theseus isn’t exactly on a great start, but he compensates with a superb HP stat, tied with Mashu for the 4th highest of any 3*, but with an attack stat that’s still relatively high in spite of it. So while the lack of offensive might does hurt, he doesn’t walk away without a decent tradeoff for it.
As for passives, Theseus doesn’t have anything too abnormal for a Saber - Magic Resistance provides a consistent defense against debuffs, while his Riding rank provides a moderate boost to his singular Quick card.
So how is Theseus overall? Well on the upside, he’s a great hero on the mend, and a walking legend who technically saved Athens from a monster:
However, no matter how much he aims to make amends, he can’t change the sin of killing the bull boi and leaving Ariadne out high and dry:
As bad as it did feel at a time for many great Greek heroes like Jason and Heracles to have their power in FGO limited by external factors, whether it be their rarity in the game or simply the time of their original implementation, Theseus manages to have one of the strongest kits of any R Servant in this game, with a focused game plan, strong skill lineup, high damage output, and compatibility with the best strategy in this game across most content - Arts NP spam.
While he does face a lot of competition even among his own class from higher-rarity Servants like Yagyu, Hajime, and Dioscuri, Theseus’s accessibility, low deployment cost, and high NP damage output are all very strong benefits that often make him a more desirable choice. And of course, if you ever need to close the stat gap, using Grails on non-SSR Servants is pretty resource-efficient…
In any case, Theseus is a very strong offensive Servant that can fill in the position of a ST damage dealer, even when not tackling his class advantage, so I’d wholeheartedly suggest getting him at NP5 if you’re lacking in an Arts damage dealer. Rath™ Seal of Approval, with a recommendation.
I would like to take a small moment to make this place the grave-marker for the paragraphs of outro I wrote that sadly had to be deleted because Theseus dropped the day after I finished writing the MMM. I salute you.
At least I’m staying fairly on schedule for once. Doing my job properly, unlike a certain wannabe John Wilkes Booth. If we’re going to keep including failed assassins in FGO, I’m hoping for Gavrilo Princip next. He’ll have an EX Luck stat that somehow blunders himself into successfully killing his target even when he’s the most incompetent human on this planet.
But I’ll leave the fan-theorizing for my internal monologue, for now. Until the next issue!