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MMM - Wicked Witches Wallow in Walpurgis, While Whimsical Woman Works Over Wardrobe for Worth (Halloween 2021)

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Article by GamepressRath
MMM Halloween 2021

The Modern Magus Magazine

HAPPY HALLOWEEN KUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Ahem. Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. As much as I may complain of the workload when a large batch of Servants is dropped at once, the following drought of little to do in FGO may make this humble writer a little loopy.

But worry not, it is the season of tricking and, perhaps, treating! As such, you can feel free to dirty your computer monitor with chocolate as you snack away reading this review in both joy and dismay at the state of your new Servants!

Hm? Has my earlier outburst gotten you a little unnerved? Well, we can’t have that - sweets are to be enjoyed, after all. If it helps, I’ll say it in red:

There are no tiny bombs in the candy!
Halloween Rising
NA Release Date: 10/2023

Jacques De Molay (Foreigner)

Introduction

It’s rather bizarre how I feel the need to make the “Foreigner” distinction for this Servant despite there being no alternate versions of her in FGO itself. Jacques De Molay (the real one, might I say) is an Arcade exclusive at the moment, but DW has deigned to implement his Innocent Monster’d alter ego (not the class) into FGO, a devil-worshipping fiend whose reverence of Baphomet was enough to even warp them into an alluring woman.

No, I’m not kidding. That’s the reason it’s a genderbend. Worst of all it sort of makes sense.

Then I suppose this harlot got a different sugar daddy as she’s a Foreigner (or was Baphomet the Outer God to begin with?) We’ll live with it, I suppose.

Servant Data
Foreigner

5

5
Entity of the Outer Realm A

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

Territory Creation A

Increase your Arts Card effectiveness by 10%.

Divinity B

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

Overview

Boy, we’ve actually got a pretty large lineup of Foreigners now. It doesn’t feel like a unit-starved Class any more. That role belongs to the Pretender class now, of course.

That does mean we can measure up Jacques against the other SSR Foreigners pretty cleanly, though. With the 2nd worst Attack and best HP of any Foreigner of her rarity, Jacques may first seem to be poorly specced and typically positioned in return, but she gets a good sum of mileage out of her low Attack - compared to Van Gough-chan above her (and boy does it feel weird to refer to both names as females), she exchanges roughly 250 Attack for a hefty 1143 HP, which is about as good a tradeoff as you’ll get.

Naturally her Attack stat being relatively low is a drag regardless, but at least she has the 4th best HP in the game in return.

In regards to passives, Jacques is relatively modest for a Foreigner. With the typical Entity of the Outer Realm, she has some minor passive stargen and a little bit of Debuff Resistance. Territory Creation A is a really appreciated boost to her Arts NP gain and damage (even if she only has one of them), and B-rank Divinity provides a minor boost to her regular card damage.

On the whole, she’s packing some hefty durability in exchange for mediocre offense, which isn’t the worst situation to be in. You could be Scheherazade and trade it for goddawful offense.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how is Jacques on the whole? Well, on one hand she’s so good it’s almost sinful:

Jacques makes for an incredibly competent Quick farmer, even with the Arts/Buster competition at the moment being rough to surpass. Her 50% gauge charge allows her to be reasonably flexible, and she pulls out enough damage and refund to remain competitive with the best Quick farmers out there, even if matching Space Ishtar or Melusine is a little beyond her reach. She pretty much blows Voyager out the water outside of very niche refund-related cases, if nothing else.

Jacques doesn’t have to be restricted to farming, either. With her fairly competent critical damage dealer setup, superb card NP gain and extremely deadly ramping NP damage, Jacques can crush CQ’s pretty handily as an AOE damage option. You can even run her in the off-meta Jacques/Van Gogh/Ashiya team, with Jacques benefitting from both the Foreigner and Evil buffs her allies provide to output some crazy critical damage, on top of having Curse-stacking synergy.

Lastly, be sure not to ignore Jacques’s supportive prowess. Her Charisma buff alone is very powerful, providing both 20% gauge charge to the team and some solid offensive buffs, while also turning the entire gang Evil should you be in the mood to throw Moriarty or Ashiya around. Add in the incredibly useful team Invincible buff she can toss out when needed (provided her Evil trait buff is still active), and she genuinely rounds out the supportive components of a team quite handily.

However, she’s also offering a cursed chalice:

Even being a good Quick farmer can be a little underwhelming in the present meta. Without class advantage or an event damage CE Jacques is unlikely to meet the damage benchmarks necessary for farming high-level event nodes, something competing Arts and Buster farmers can handle with ease, or just Quick ones with the right class advantage. While I believe it is possible for Jacques to run some setups with Oberon swap-in to alleviate this issue, it’s a lot more dependent on a player’s collection (asking for Skadi+Oberon alone is a lot) and can still fall short to particularly bulky Wave 2’s.

So far as an Extra class Quick Servant can get in 2021, Jacques is pretty ideal. She hits the necessary benchmarks to be a competent universal farmer, if admittedly not the best one around, while also providing enough supplementary tools to enable creative team compositions or perform well in Challenge Quests.

To put it in simpler terms, Jacques is both good and fun to use, provided you’ve got the right Servants to work around her. Not that you should expect a Servant born from rumors of depravity and devil-worshipping orgies to not be fun. Now if only we could get the actual Jacques in FGO too…

Damn you, Arcade! Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Zenobia

Introduction

When even the Servant and Master themselves in the actual game question why the hell this lady is dressed so skimpily, you’re probably doing something incredibly...right?

I’m honestly not sure whether to call being horny based or debased at this point. In any case, Zenobia is a cool historical figure, essentially a Syrian Boudicca, with one of the sadly shortest-lived empires in history. At least those 3 years are good ones, right? Yet another thing to blame the Romans for, I suppose.

Servant Data
Archer

4

4
Magic Resistance D

Increase your Debuff Resist by 12.5%.

Independent Action B

Increase your Critical Strength by 8%.

Riding B

Increase your Quick Card effectiveness by 8%.

Overview

Courtesy of her oddly-insane lore stats (seriously, she’s got Saber-tier stats and is competing with Asvatthaman and Superhuman Orion for strongest Archer lore-wise), Zenobia has a strong set of base stats, packing the 7th best Attack stat of the SR Archers, and 7th best HP stat. Even if she’s not claiming a medal, being in the top cut of both stats is telling of a really good base stat total. As a result she has fairly good offense for an Archer, on top of reasonably good bulk.

So far as passives go, however, she’s fairly typical. Her Magic Resistance is handy, but fairly low-ranked, and she’s supplemented offensively by B-rank Riding and Independent Action, giving her small boosts to both her Critical Damage and Quick cards, of which she has two.

Just going by the baseline, Zenobia is above average in all aspects, but nothing exceptional either.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how is Zenobia on the whole? On one hand, she’s a liberated woman in every sense of the word:

Zenobia makes for a fantastic and, frankly, needed accessible Archer Arts farmer in the game. Until now your options for Arts AOE Archers have been 2 Summer Limited Servants, one being so poor in terms of damage output that it’s painful to try and make her work (Helena), while the other is good, but a little too exclusive for most to use (Jeanne onee-chan). Zenobia is capable of farming incredibly consistently with a wide range of setup options, and can even run Black Grail to farm neutral nodes as well. She’s simply one of the better farm options out there.

Even with farming on the table, it’s worth remembering Zenobia is pretty crazy in CQ’s, too. Her NP looping also means stacking up her NP’s critical damage buff on herself, which even with Arts’s lacklustre critical damage support (Langling is viable, I swear!) Zenobia can bring some serious pain to the table with her combination of consistent star generation and high damage. Add in the possibility of laying into some King Servants with her NP on top of that and she’s gonna have a blast.

However, in some sense she’s still bound by her shackles:

While Zenobia is wholly functional as a farmer, she can suffer some setbacks when used for difficult content. Her 20 star bomb and star focus combo is good for enabling a crit turn, but otherwise in Arts teams she will only have the limited stargen off her own NP chain and her 10 stars/turn to coast on to feed her crits, which may necessitate running 2030 on her supports. While that is something of a given, it is restrictive. In addition, her own defensive tools aren’t ideal, with Guts being the worst hard defensive tool available and her Critical Resistance buff being neat but not significant. As such she may feel like a one-trick pony at times.

I’d say there’s little more you can ask for out of an SR Servant trying to dip their toe in the Arts farming metagame. Zenobia has some incredibly consistent looping setups, can run more intense CE choices to pump up her damage when not facing class advantage, and can turn her attention to CQ’s as a fairly good AOE Critical Damage queen.

She may lack some of the cool utility options or defensive consistency of other farmers around, but her accessibility as a permanent SR in a class that is otherwise low on her niche makes her incredibly valuable, and a strong pick to add to the collection. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Elisabeth Bathory (Cinderella)

Introduction

I thought we escaped her. For years, even. But no, this damned walking dragon steak and her alts always come back in the end. My eardrums can’t handle much more, so I’ll get this over quickly.

Servant Data
Rider

4

4
Riding EX

Increase your Quick Card effectiveness by 12%.

Overview

So far as base stats go, Cindy Liz is pretty solid. With the 7th best Attack of her class and rarity and 5th worst HP, she’s clearly got a lesser base stat total, but she at least puts it toward the attack stat, so she isn’t too lacklustre offensively. For a Rider, at any rate.

On the passives front, Cindy Liz shockingly has little to offer. Her EX Riding is great for boosting her Quick card, of course, but she’s even missing the Rider class’s Magic Resistance, despite her knight class permutations having it at A rank.

So there’s surprisingly little to speak of here. A decent more offensively-leaned stat lineup, and a singular good Passive.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how good is Cindy Liz on the whole? Well on one hand, she’s the center of the ball, with all eyes on her:

Being a welfare is just nice. With the huge leg-up of having an inherent NP5, Cindy Liz provides some of the strongest firepower you can access on a budget. While she does demand the presence of both Koyanskaya and Oberon to use it to the utmost limit, she’s not bad to have around regardless.

Even if not the greatest on offer, Cindy Liz can perform a consistent 3-turn loop with her NP, which may prove useful for some farming nodes and CQ’s. It’s a better situation to be in than the Buster ST’s with no gauge charge whatsoever. Those folks are in a pretty bad spot.

However, once the clock strikes midnight, a Liz is a Liz, and nothing more:

Even among just her fellow Rider welfares, Cindy Liz is thoroughly outclassed. Kintoki Rider has had a consistent 3-turn NP loop even ignoring refund for years, and with append skills it’s been made even simpler to set up, and in doing so he does much more damage than Liz and demands more accessible Servants. Even assuming you can’t access Kintoki Rider, Habetrot is always going to be available, and can similarly do immense looping NP damage, but as an AOE, and I can say with certainty Habetrot does more damage in an Oberon battlesuit swap setup than Cindy Liz does.

Just throwing in-class competition aside, Cindy Liz basically offers little even in a vacuum. Her Invincible buff and gauge charger are both fairly good, but amount to little when she doesn’t provide competitive NP damage or skills to make you want to bring her to begin with. The only real point where she’s offering something unique to a player is if you’ve obtained zero welfares period, but with the prior Halloween rerun that feels unlikely - Mecha Liz is practically a more versatile version of her.

The seasons change, the world meets a pandemic, Cadbury’s Creme Eggs reduce in size and nobody notices, but if one thing never changes, it’s that Liz sucks. As much as I’d like to sardonically congratulate Cinderella Liz on continuing the tradition, it’s just a little sad.

It’s not as if she was doomed to be unviable due to present meta, Buster is in a fairly good spot right now. It’s simply that her kit lacks spice, and feels like, well, a 2016 Welfare kit. Certainly not strong enough to be abused by the Koyanskaya skill CD reset, nor to provide enough incentive to run her in a team. She’s still a reasonable option if you’re incredibly limited on offensive Riders, but you could blindfold yourself and make a dartboard of all the offensive NP Riders and odds are a dart throw would hit a better Servant than Cinderella Liz.

So yeah, unfortunately she’s probably best left in the archive. And good for it, too - I wouldn’t want that mirror to be abused any more than it already has been.

Outro

I hope you’ve all been sufficiently spooked, since once the date turns over to November it’s just going to be padoru nonstop no matter where you go.

I’ll admit I’ve never been one for the Halloween season, but I wish you all some enjoyable holidays and maybe, just maybe, decent gacha luck. Next time we’ll be handling whatever chaos awaits us in the LB5.5 prerequisite event. Or as I like to call it, the filler arc right before the actual finale. See you all then.

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