Rabbit’s Reviews #341: Sen no Rikyu (5* Berserker)

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Rabbit's Reviews Sen no Rikyu
NA Release Date: 09/2024

Sen no Rikyu is something of an interesting next move after the drama of anniv and summer. On the one hand, she’s a very good unit—in contention for best Quick AoE, in fact—but on the other, she doesn’t feel nearly as remarkable as our past few SSRs. She’s great, make no mistake, but she comes with the usual sorts of trade-offs we would expect of a strong new limited Servant. She has contexts in which she’s the best option in her card type, but those contexts are fairly specific, and she doesn’t really raise the overall power ceiling. Which is to say, she’s a pretty balanced unit, albeit a strong one. Unfortunately, she’s in direct competition with Ibuki, who’s better in every way, and she comes at a time when most players are probably short on quartz. In a vacuum, though, she’s a nice addition, and she’s a good option for anyone with a shiny new Summer Skadi and no modern Quick units to run her with.

Servant Data
Madness Enhancement (Tranquil) EX

Increase own Buster Card effectiveness by 10%.
Increase own Critical Strength by 5%.

Territory Creation (Refined) A

Increase own Arts Card effectiveness by 8%.
Increase own Mental Debuff Resist by 20%.

Aesthetic Appreciation (Tea) A

Increase own Debuff Success Rate by 10%.

Freeform Thinking B

Increase own Quick Card NP Gain by 10%.

Card Hits 5 3 3 5 6
Per Hit 0.70% 0.70% 0.70% 0.70% 0.70%
NP per Hit (%) 0.70%
NP when Attacked (%) 5%
Star Absorption 9
Star Generation per Hit 4.9%
Material Requirements
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Usage Tips
Grail Potential

Sen is a very good unit. If she had released two months ago, I would probably be singing her praises a lot more—she rivals Caren for best Quick unit in the game, with higher damage potential in exchange for less flexible loopage. The problem here is that Ibuki just released. Sure, Ibuki is Arts and Sen is Quick, but all Summer Skadi did was make it so Quick and Arts play mostly the same, at least in burst contexts. Unless you’re fighting something with massive Arts resistance, in any case in which you would bring Sen, you could bring Ibuki and do it better.

I’m not usually one to say a Servant is bad because another one does the same thing better, especially when both of those Servants are limited SSRs. And I’m not saying Sen is bad, to be clear—she’s quite good. But for JP players, Sen is coming after an absolutely brutal set of banners, making her a hard pull, and for NA players, Sen will be following a unit who’s directly superior in pretty much every way. This means there’s very little reason to pull for her, at least at launch. The only real reason to target her specifically—at least, from a gameplay standpoint—is if you have your Arts needs covered (say, by a high-NP Spish), you pull Summer Skadi, you don’t have any good Quick AoEs, and you want one pocketed just in case it happens to be useful. Sen fills that specific need, and she fills it well… but it’s a pretty specific case.

In short, Sen is a good addition to the game—it’s only timing and context that make her less exciting than she might otherwise be.

Rabbit's Arbitrary Ratings

Overall: 9/10
Single-Target DPS: 8/10
AoE DPS: 10/10
Survivability: 4/10
Offensive Utility: 4/10
Defensive Utility: 5/10
Farming Usefulness: 8/10
Tea: 10/10

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