Since the theme of the year so far seems to be “Servants lots of people actively wanted,” Valentine’s 2021 brings Caren Hortensia as our first-ever Quick Ruler. It’s kind of wild that after 5-and-a-half years of FGO there are still class/card type combinations we don’t have, but here we are. Maybe we’ll get the legendary Quick Caster this year, too.
Regardless, Caren is a weird Servant. She’s a lot of things all at once, and as a result she doesn’t excel in any particular role despite what is a pretty loaded kit. She has terrible NP refund and underwhelming damage, but in exchange she has powerful enough skills that she can actually loop with Black Grail in some very specific (and expensive) team comps—which would be impressive if Arts wasn’t so dominant at that already. She also has a ton of utility built into her kit, to the extent that it seems like she may have been designed with an alternative support or semi-support role in mind. Even in a supportive role, though, she has a fair number of annoying flaws that keep her from being much more than a Super Tristan when operating in a supportive capacity. She’s not bad, exactly—if you’re willing to put up with her weaknesses and build a team around her, she’ll probably feel solid if not outright strong—but almost everything she does comes with an asterisk, which makes it hard to recommend her as a gameplay pick.
|Base Atk||1,754||Base HP||2,029|
|Max Atk||11,351||Max HP||13,837|
|Grail Atk||12,425||Grail HP||15,159|
Decrease own Debuff Resist by 20% [Demerit].
Increase own ATK by 20% when debuffed.
Apply Damage Plus (Total Card Damage +225).
Increase Debuff Resist for yourself by 22.5%.
|NP per Hit (%)||0.57%|
|NP when Attacked (%)||3%|
|Star Generation per Hit||9.9%|
Caren is an odd Servant in that despite how busy her kit is, she’s relatively straightforward. She’s an AoE Quick Servant with a 50% battery and lots of utility but low innate NP refund and relatively low damage in exchange. Regardless of the intricacies and minutia of her kit, that’s what it boils down to: good utility and reasonable loopability, with a set of asterisks. It’s annoying how much her kit undercuts itself, and she would actually be stronger with a simplified skillset in some places—the AoE NP drain on her second skill hurts more than it helps, for instance, especially since the skill’s cooldown was likely penalized for it—but the fact of the matter is that she has enough generic good tools that even if her kit isn’t as cohesive as it could be she’s still likely to be generally useful provided you account for her flaws.
Single-Target DPS: 3/10
AoE DPS: 7/10
Offensive Utility: 4/10
Defensive Utility: 8/10
Farming Usefulness: 8/10