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MMM - Tengu-Taught, Tall-Toed Tactical Tensai Tumbles into Trap, Transforms into Tempting Turncoat (Little Big Tengu)

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Article by GamepressRath
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The Modern Magus Magazine

Well, it’s somehow surprisingly that we got two of the silhouettes from the New Year's broadcast written off so soon. For some reason I didn’t consider that some of them would be Welfares, or just non-SSRs in general. That’s a gacha-oriented brain for you.

To the point, one of these additions isn’t exactly unexpected, though having her skillset largely revamped was. I had some of my opinions set in stone already from Mandala, but well…

Throws out notes

We’re doing it live!

NA Release Date: 01/2023

Taira no Kagekiyo

Introduction

Predictably, Kagekiyo remembers the power of friendship in her third ascension and transforms into Yoshitsune well and proper… well, not at all really.

But hey, no more fetish mask, for those who aren’t into that. She re-apparates it for the NP still, since we need our dramatic closeup on an SSR, as always.

I’ll just sit here, mourning I don’t get a second cinnamon roll named Yoshitsune with eccentric interests and boundless enthusiasm to add to the waifu collection. Majide watashi no tame ni arawareru kudasai!

Servant Data
Avenger

5

5
Avenger EX

Increase NP Gain when damaged by 22%.
Decrease Debuff Resist for all allies (including sub-members),
except yourself by 12%. [Demerit]

Oblivion Correction C

Increase your Critical Strength by 6%.

Self-Restoration (Magical Energy) D

Increase NP Gauge each turn by 3% for yourself.

Overview

It’s been a while since we last had an Avenger in all their bonkers attack stat glory. Well over a year, in fact.

Keeping to the trend of her class, Kagekiyo is heavily leaned in the offensive side of things. With the second-highest attack of her class and rarity, she boasts one of the best attack stats in the game, but naturally suffers a poor HP stat in exchange. 4th worst of the SSRs, in fact. She also gets a golden prize for kicking Maou Nobu into the dirt even more by surpassing her in both base stats.

That’s gotta hurt.

So far as passives go, Kagekiyo is a very mundane Avenger. She’s notable for, like Space Ishtar, having EX-ranked Avenger, making her defensive NP gain absurdly strong, while also packing the typical minor critical damage boost from Oblivion Correction and her government-welfare free 3% gauge per turn that all Avengers are entitled to. All pretty good perks to have, especially on the NP gain side of things, but very standard.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how is Kagekiyo in practice? On one hand, she’s an instrument of destruction:

Kagekiyo manages to claim the title of one of the most vicious critical-focused Servants to date, especially among those with an offensive NP. While her critical booster isn’t too exceptional, while still very good, to have that offense running off a looping, Quick-focused kit while possessing a star focus-like effect is very rare. She can produce her own stars, get them relatively consistently, then use them to strong effect. It’s the hallmark of a good crit damage dealer, and it shows.

Boy is she hard to kill. A low-cooldown Guts wasn’t enough apparently, so she also packs hit-based Evasion, and makes the Guts stackable. Kagekiyo with a Necromancy alone is one of the most durable Servants in the game, and then she can convert that refusal to die into bonus power on her NP with her Grudge of Vengeance stacks. To say that about an Avenger of all things is, well...the HP stat isn’t everything, kids.

Kagekiyo’s offensive peak is...scary. It’s something of a wet dream gimmick, but if she’s built up 4 Grudge of Vengeance stacks with double Skadi support versus a Genji trait enemy with a decent CE...her neutral damage is 81k. No wait, I missed a digit. 814K DAMAGE. Seeing Servants with absurdly high critical damage peaks may have desensitized you to this, but hitting even over 100k damage on a neutral, non-Event CE boosted NP is obscenely high. If she’s hitting a Berserker (Kintoki / Raikou are Genji, remember), she’s doing 1,628,000 damage in one NP. And she can spam this thing. Certainly overkill, but it’s impressive for the novelty alone. She does 2.2 million versus Raikou/Kintoki if she’s using lvl100 Black Grail.

This lady can consistently NP spam. While that makes her more effective beyond her (fairly mediocre) single NP damage with no situational modifiers in Challenge Quests, it also makes her an option for single-target NP’s when one is needed for farming. She’s probably going to need one Skadi minimum to meet most damage benchmarks, but having the option is still nice for those farming nodes without the tried and true 3/3/X format, such as the 90+ node on the Saber Wars II rerun.

However, she might also burn to a crisp with her anger:

Kagekiyo’s single-NP damage output can be a problem. While her refund benefits usually outweigh this, there will be cases where you need to be hitting well beyond the 100k mark per NP to speed through Challenge Quests smoothly, and Kagekiyo can’t provide that outside of niche circumstances. Her damage output as a whole is still high regardless due to her critical damage, but that always remains dependent on card luck, while NP’s are an eternal consistent factor until you get NP sealed.

In a general metagame sense, Kagekiyo faces some pretty stiff competition from the Arts side of the field, and not even SSRs - Astraea and MHXX both got NP upgrades in a relatively recent time period, and those upgrades have elevated their effectiveness as universal ST damage dealers and potential farming options. Especially Astraea, who in both offensive might and looping potential is one of the best damage dealers in the game period. Add in the possibility of multiple NP levels on that drill-haired lady and Kagekiyo faces little chance outside of getting her Ganji trait bonus. Less that Kagekiyo is too weak to use, but that there exist easier-obtained options that are usually better.

All-in-all, Kagekiyo is an exemplary addition to the Quick archetype’s damage dealer selection. Avengers always get dealt the best hand of the Extra classes for offensive purposes, having the rarest class weakness and an immense attack stat for their troubles. On top of that, Kagekiyo uses and abuses the best traits of her class while mitigating its weaknesses, becoming a well-rounded force of nature that only suffers from noodle arms syndrome when lacking team support, or just a good dose of vengeful angst or two.

She stands out as one of the strongest solo clutch Servants in the game, as well as a very strong universal offensive option with Skadi support, even if either niche is a little weak under the just overall-better-ness of Casturia and Arts offense by comparison. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Kiichi Hogen

Introduction

Did I accidentally cross dimensions into the NA server?

‘Cos it’s feeling real Quick meta in this MMM. And to add another cheap joke to the list, hands up if you knew who Kiichi Hogen was before this event. Okay, hands down all of you. We know now who the liars, super-weebs, or Japanese historians are in class.

Putting that aside, Kiichi has a lot of charm. So let’s get into FGO’s resident Wind God Girl.

Servant Data
Assassin

4

4
Max HP 11,168
HP Rank
Max ATK 9,434
ATK Rank
Base Atk1,572Base HP1,786
Max Atk 9,434 Max HP 11,168
Grail Atk 11,423 Grail HP 13,541
Presence Concealment C

Increase your Critical Star Drop Rate by 6%.

Magic Resistance EX

Increase your Debuff Resist by 25%.

Territory Creation B+

Increase your Arts Card effectiveness by 9%.

Overview

Y’all ever wanted an Assassin who just comes out of the gates and pimpslaps every other Servant of her rarity for thinking they had a good statline. Boom, tengu lady in the house.

Kiichi packs the 3rd best attack stat for Assassins of her rarity by a small margin, with the tied 6th best HP stat. She’s got effectively the strongest attack stat for SR Assassins in exchange for average HP. If she were an SSR, she’d have a statline comparable to King Hassan, the man renowned for defying the Assassin class’s convention of generally weak bases.

Kiichi hardly stops there, either. While her Presence Concealment is mediocre, she comes packing B+ Territory Creation, and Magic Resistance on par with Jeanne D’Arc, a practically saintly combo. It’s rare for us to get Assassins with significant passive debuff resistance, and the Territory Creation, while not too substantial due to her Quick focus, still helps out her NP gain.

So all in all, a good start.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So, how does Kiichi Hogen shape up when we put her in practice? On one hand, she’s so full of insightful oriental energy she’s like a Retrospective Kyoto:

Kiichi is a good farmer. Especially when in the field of Assassin farming, her only real consistent competing farmer is her own student, Summer Ushiwakamaru. Unlike Ushiwakamaru, she performs much better damage-wise before even accounting for her free NP5, and has a generally better time on the refund front. So yeah, she’s pretty much the premier farmer for Rider nodes now if you really need the offensive oomph universal-class farmers can’t provide.

While I don’t see her as outstanding in that aspect, Kiichi is still usable for CQ scenarios. Good NP damage output for farming applies to CQ’s as well, and her strong Evasion skill as well as versatile gauge charger and defensive buff removal on NP can all be handy in the right scenarios. I can just imagine taking alternative Quick AOE’s over her if the lineup isn’t all Riders.

However, she’s also got a few flaws that leave her hearing the Bell of Avici:

While Kiichi is a consistent and strong farmer, she isn’t a massively versatile one. By which I mean, if you don’t have LB Kaleidoscope, you likely need to use Battlesuit. No Skadi? Out of luck - she needs that hefty 50% Quick booster. She’s consistent and not clunky to use in the ideal setup, but without, she can be pretty troublesome to work with. And likewise, her options for diversifying her CE for more damage amount usually to demanding Nero Bride or Casturia via Battlesuit, which is another high-demand SSR.

Welfares always have me double guessing the amount I write for the conclusion, since often their kit is so concise there isn’t much to cover. Kiichi just puts all her points into farming, and as a result is pretty good at it (for an Assassin), then has some minor side-utility. Now farming’s honest work, but not really fitting for a woman of her talents - which is where I hold some level of disappointment. Good and fun / interesting to use are two separate things, and Kiichi’s kit doesn’t excite me in the same way someone like Santa Karna does.

But hey, I’m biased toward tengu, she’s free, and has practically no competition in her niche, at least that isn’t summer-limited-locked. Rath™ Seal of Approval, it has your name on it.

Outro

With that, the MMM for this event’s additions is finished, and the 15 month long drought of no-Assassins since Summer Okita is finally over. At one point I thought they were done with the class entirely.

So, to divulge into a more light-hearted topic...absolutely nothing major has happened between New Years and now, right? Yup, I know - love to see 2021 is completely not following the same rhythm of the previous year.

Haha...ha…

Give me more gacha to light up my soul.

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