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MMM - Wintertime Writer Weathered With Well of Warriors Anew, Wishing Wellness (Christmas 2020)

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Article by GamepressRath
MMM Christmas 2022
Table of Contents

The Modern Magus Magazine

DW must really be putting themselves the grinder - they actually managed to release more than one Servant a month. It’s like the good ‘ol days before (201)9/11!

And as a result, my collection of occasionally-colliding walnuts which are referred to typically as a brain has been working overtime for the holiday season. All for the important task of reading numbers datamined by someone who isn’t me, implemented on a convenient site not done by me, then putting it in a hopefully digestible analytical format with the pretence of intellectualism.

You can really feel my Holiday Spirit shining through, I bet.

NA Release Date: 12/2022

Vritra

Introduction

There she is, the big three double oh. It feels unreal to believe this game has had over 300 Servants added. Considering I’ve been writing since before the 100 mark, that’s a lot of Servant reviews (well, minus the occasional bronze since they thankfully pass the Quartz gacha).

But onto the lady of the hour. Dragon tiddies. Indian dragon tiddies. Indian dragon tiddies with sharp teeth. I rest my case.

Servant Data
Lancer

5

5
Magic Resistance A

Increase your Debuff Resist by 20%.

Dragon Kin A

Increase own Buster Card effectiveness by 10%.
Apply Damage Cut by 180 to self.

Overview

Vritra’s base stat block comes into the club trampling over Karna’s body, sitting next to Romulus then pushing him off his bar stool. Coming in finally as an offense-oriented Lancer who actually demonstrates how absurd the Lancer class can be in terms of bases, Vritra packs a record attack stat, furthered by the Lancer 1.05x class attack modifier, and HP which is technically low, but more than high enough for practical purposes. Even having the lowest HP in class/rarity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.

On the passives front, Vritra is fairly basic, but packs a very familiar yet new friend of ours - Dragon Kin. Unfortunately, she doesn’t benefit from the freebie Buster boost as much as Ibuki does, packing a singular Buster card, but passive damage cut remains incredibly good for durability purposes, and her high Magic Resistance is all-around strong to have built into your kit.

So yeah, Vritra is working from a strong baseline.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how is Vritra in practice? On one hand, she’s a world-ending threat:

Hoo boy, SSR Lancers finally have a decent farmer at their disposal. And even in comparison to SR Lancers, Vritra hits higher benchmarks than both Lambda and Fionn when giving them the NP2 of doubt to even out damage numbers. With her dual setup of gauge charge skills and just generally solid Arts booster, her looping as very little issues on the consistency front, and performs passably for damage.

Everything that can be said for farming really applies to Challenge Quests, too. The Lancer class has largely been swarmed with Quick and Buster NP’s for some time now, but their lack of Arts options with more serious oomph has left forming teams around Casturia a little awkward. Vritra is nothing groundbreaking in the broader sense, especially when compared to monsters like Summer Kiara, but she’s got the anti-Archer end of the market pretty firmly cornered.

Vritra isn’t without her supportive tools. Anti-Divine effective damage and her NP damage up buff are situational and minor, but still supportive options nonetheless. Meanwhile, her NP has a bundle of useful effects to supplement the options of Vritra’s teammates. None of them are particularly stand-out on their own, but every small contribution can matter for the bigger picture.

However, she’s also something of a snake without a bite:

While looping can often compensate for it, Vritra’s NP damage still isn’t particularly impressive. She’s likely to struggle to meet some tougher damage benchmarks for farming even with class advantage, and no amount of amazing refund can compensate for an extra turn spent hitting things. In CQs this can also mean extra turns spent getting through break gauges, which can produce problems in its own right.

Sure, Vritra is better than Lambda and Fionn on the whole, but is she that much better? The gap between a permanent SR like Fionn who’s probably haunted your rolls all game and Vritra an SSR, while still permanent, can be pretty big for your wallet. And to get better farming performance and better CQ potential out of that is a sale, sure, but it may not be a particularly worthwhile one.

While Vritra is in many senses a parallel to her predecessor, Ibuki, in hitting a niche that is a little underfed but relevant, while having somewhat minor advantages over her competitors and also being a Dragon with a capital D, she feels a little more mellow. It’s probably primarily the disconnect in having Vritra focus on a stronger card type while simultaneously having a weaker kit.

Fortunately for Vritra, meta is still a big factor in these things, and she performs well in a fairly uncompetitive class niche, meaning even with how middle-of-the-road her performance is, it’s still good for where she’s applying it to. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Karna (Santa)

Introduction

OHMYLORDHE’SSOHOTLOOKATTHOSEBOOTSCANILICKTHEMANDHEPOSESSOCOOLANDHE’SSOPRECIOUSINTHESTORYANDASHWATTHAMA’SALSOAMAZINGINTERACTINGWITHHIMINSERTMOREINDIANMALETOTALLYNOTGAYFANBOYISMHEREIWANTHIMTOJAMHISFISTUPMYRHOAIAS

Hah...hah

Okay, got my Karna fanboyism out of me. Now for the actual review.

Servant Data
Saber

4

4
Magic Resistance A

Increase your Debuff Resist by 20%.

Divinity A

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

Hard Puncher EX

Increase own Buster Critical Strength by 12%.

Overview

Coming into the Saber SR lineup as not just fast as fuck, boi but also a fast fuccboi, Santa Karna is a case where I really wish he had a more offensive focus, since he clearly has the stats to balance. With the 4th highest HP and 6th lowest attack of his class and rarity, Santa Karna is defensively leaned in his spread, but evidently gets a lot out of it, having 1k more HP than fellow Sabers who only have minor attack leads over him.

Meanwhile on the passives side of things, Santa Karna is more or less what you would expect for him in a Saber form. His high-ranking Magic Resistance gives him good passive defenses versus debuffs, while his Divinity is a minor boost to his card damage. However, he also has Hard Puncher EX, giving him the Buster gorilla wet dream of a moderate boost to his Buster critical damage. With his two Buster cards, he’s likely to put it to good use, as well.

While not necessarily statted how you’d wish for, Santa Karna still has a solid baseline to work from here.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how fierce a fighter does our festive Karna fill out as? For one, he’s fuelled by fists of fire:

This man is a crit machine. With his skills set up in a dual Skadi team, he’ll be critting in excess of 100k damage with Quick cards of all things, while simultaneously showering himself in stars and NP gauge both to unleash later. His high inherent stargen, access to a star focus skill and pretty fatal critical damage regardless if he’s using Buster or Quick cards makes him an offensive menace, just by his regular cards alone.

Add his NP to the formula and...whew boy. Santa karna hits like a truck just by his NP alone, then you add in the fact it makes his Quick crits even more lethal, sets up even more stars to use for later, and can be double or triple-dipped very easily with the assistance of Skadi, and he can shred through the competition with ease. The presence of his gauge charger and reasonable refund means he can also perform well as a fill-in ST NP for those occasional farming nodes which demand it, being able to get back to form for a back-to-back NP with his own charger, a Skadi gauge charge, and the team chargers of Casturia/Waver/Reines.

He’s got some style and grace to him. Santa Karna has a fairly easy-to-use hard defensive option at his disposal, which is a useful perk especially for Quick Servants, considering Skadi’s team defensive tool isn’t the most dependable at times. Also throwing in his Guts removal on NP (which admittedly isn’t going to commonly be that useful, enemy Guts are often unremovable) and the targetable nature of his gauge charger+debuff immunity, and he has a small handful of utility to make him stand out, too.

However, he can also be something of a pre-patch 5.4 Tornado Kick:

In terms of his overall game plan, Santa Karna may be a little too dependant on getting the right card chain at the right time - while his NP crit turns may be vicious, there’s no guarantee he can get the necessary cards when the stars (heh) align for it, which can in turn put a damper on his offense, especially when compared to alternative Saber options like Dioscuri or Hajime, who can get a lot out of their NP alone without depending on a follow-up card chain.

So far as welfares go, Santa Karna is pretty darn close to perfection. He has a game plan, he has tools with the numbers to accomplish it (a far stretch from cases like Jalter ‘zerker who just feel underwhelming numbers-wise), and he works effectively with the support Servants who focus on his card type. He can deal with challenge quests, he’s relatively convenient for when you want a plug-and-play ST NP in farming situations, and he’s entirely free for his full power, outside of time farming the event.

So use him. Do it. Do it now. Join the Karna cult. Bathe in the Karna. Forfeit all your Quartz to the Karna. Grail the Karna. Join the weekly midnight blood sacrifices to Karna in a Tokyo backstreet with Aoi Yuuki. Actually wait, ignore that last part, it’s meant to be a secret.

Just. Use. Him.

(If you can’t tell, that’s a Rath™ Seal of Approval with a recommendation.)

Outro

Rabid fanboyism aside, we’re on the last spurt for this year, which will be concluded with the fateful New Year’s TV broadcast and gacha. Since this may be the last MMM of 2020, I just want to let you all know - It’s been a wild year, I’m sure you’re all well aware, and I’ve enjoyed writing this publication with you all along the way, both this year and prior ones. Now let’s hope 2021 spells a better time for both FGO players and the world in general.

Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.

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